Almond Banana Baklava | #BrunchWeek ~ Nik Snacks

Bite it and write it. That's what I do. Fueled by butterbeans & collard greens.

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On 7:00 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks   No comments
This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.


40 Bloggers from around North America have shown you their best brunch dishes, from cocktails to cakes, danish, tarts, and pizzas - with 170 recipes, there has been something for everyone! Our amazing sponsors have donated some great prizes for the #BrunchWeek giveaway. And I want you to make sure you enter, because if you don't enter, you CAN'T WIN!

Today I'm bringing you the last dish of #BrunchWeek and I could not be more proud. As you're reading this, I am in the middle of a 7-day, 6-night solo trip to Paris. I am here by myself and I could not be happier. I have traveled alone, but never to Europe and I'm doing it right. I'll be posting pics and travel tips next week, but for now I am about to tell you about my brunch piece de resistance: Almond Banana Baklava


I've got a confession to make: I've actually never eaten Baklava before. Never. Ever.

You all know I'm allergic to nuts and traditional baklava is made with pistachios and sometimes walnuts. Lured by the promise of buttery, flaky layers of phyllo dough held together with sweet syrup and honey, I've been missing out all of these years. 




Almonds are another nut I'm allergic to (even though they're really seeds and kin to the peach) but for some reason, I can touch almonds and the smell of them toasting doesn't send me into a coughing fit or to the hospital. But why in THE HELL would I make an allergen-filled item and post it on my blog?


It's simple: I like a challenge. And I've always been a lover of Greek cuisine and I got to make simple syrup and flavor it with rosewater. ROSEWATER, Y'ALL! Rosewater courtesy of Nielssen-Massey. And even though I can't eat it, I did section off a little corner of the pan with just banana and it brought a tear to my eye when I bit into it. Hopefully the same will happen for you, when you make this. 

I used dried banana chips to match the texture of the nuts, but you can get fancy and use another fruit, if you like. I think I'd use toasted sliced almonds next time, because from what I remember (when I could enjoy nut products, 25 years ago) almonds are kind of bland. BUT! Adding salt to your brown sugar mixture may ramp it up a bit.


Almond Banana Baklava 

1 (1-lb.) pkg. frozen phyllo dough
8 oz. dried banana chips
1/2 cup Dixie Crystals granulated sugar
1 c. (2 sticks) plus 3 tbsp. butter, divided
About 1 lb. (about 4 c.) almonds, sliced, untoasted
2 tsp. cinnamon


Syrup:
1 cup water 
2 cups Dixie Crystals granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey  
2 tsp. Nielsen-Massey rose water 


  1. Thaw the phyllo sheets according to package directions.
  2. Combine banana chips, 1/2 cup of sugar, almonds and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  1. Prepare the syrup: place sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Allow the syrup to boil 2-3 minutes without stirring. Add the lemon juice and continue boiling for 10 minutes until it is a light, syrupy consistency that coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the orange blossom and rose waters. Set aside.

  1. Brush an 11-by 17-inch or 10-by 15-inch raised-edge baking pan with melted butter.
  2. Just barely dampen a few paper towels or a dish towel to cover the phyllo sheets. Remove the phyllo from the refrigerator, unroll it and trim the stack of sheets to the size of the prepared pan. Immediately cover the stack of phyllo with the damp cloth. Always keep the stack covered. Phyllo dries out very quickly.

  1. Lay one sheet of phyllo into the pan. Brush it with melted butter. Top with another phyllo sheet and brush with more butter. Continue with 4 more sheets. 
  2. After the sixth sheet is brushed with butter, evenly cover with 1/3 of the banana almond mixture. Top with two more sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter, then sprinkle the top sheet evenly with a generous 1/2 cup of the almond banana mixture. Continue until almost all the sheets of phyllo are used, brushing each sheet with butter and topping every second sheet with the nut mixture. The last two or three sheets (depending on how it works out) should not have nut mixture, only butter.
  3. With a sharp knife, cut the baklava into diamond shapes. Make a series of cuts about an inch apart all along the length of the pan, then make a series of diagonal cuts (across the pan) about 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Pour the syrup all over the hot baklava. Set aside to cool and hold its shape. Serve at room temperature.

Take a look at what the #BrunchWeek Bloggers are creating today!

BrunchWeek Beverages:
Apple Berry Smoothie from The Nifty Foodie
Apple Brunch Punch from Cooking With Carlee

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:
Apple Danish Braid from The Redhead Baker
Berry & Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast with Citrus-Apple-Berry Compote from Sweet Beginnings
Buckwheat and Cheddar Waffles from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
Cinnamon Apple Dutch Baby from Palatable Pastime
Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Bake from The Chef Next Door
English Muffins from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Iced Berry Breakfast Braid from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
Mixed Berry Sweet Rolls from Cookaholic Wife
The Best Yeasted Waffles from The Barbee Housewife

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:
Asparagus Pizza from Feeding Big
Breakfast Empanadas from Jane's Adventures in Dinner
Brunch Mac 'n Cheese with Fried Eggs from Love and Confections
Seriously Sharp Grilled Cheese with Gazpacho Shooters from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:
Green Bean and Potato Salad from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Individual Swiss and Asparagus Tarts from Family Around the Table
Mesclun Salad with Grilled Asparagus & Raspberries from Hardly A Goddess
Sweet Potato Hash from Brunch-n-Bites

BrunchWeek Desserts:
Almond Banana Baklava from Nik Snacks
Mini Apple Pies from Forking Up

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Red Star Yeast, Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Nielsen-Massey, Rainier Fruit, and Michigan Asparagus for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The #BrunchWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #BrunchWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or any other social channel mentioned in the #Brunchweek posts or entry.

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