Nutty Cinnamon Roll Ups

    We just taught a hands-on  fillo* class at the Culinary Center of Kansas City  so this recipe is for all those cooks who have proven that working with this paper-thin dough is really not all that difficult!  Once the mysteries of fillo have been dispelled, these roll ups should be a snap to prepare. And, they are delicious!
*Other spellings include filo or phyllo.

Nutty Cinnamon Roll Ups     Make 1 1/2 dozen
3/4 cup chopped nuts, toasted (use all almonds, walnuts or a combination of favorite nuts)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 sheets fillo dough (14” x 9”)
Melted butter for brushing on fillo sheets (see tip below for approximate amount)
1/4 cup honey, divided

1.     Place nuts in food processor; cover and process until finely chopped. Add sugar, butter and cinnamon; cover and process until blended.
2.     Place one sheet of fillo on a work surface. Brush with melted butter. Repeat with second layer. (Keep remaining fillo dough covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel to avoid drying out.) Spread 1/3 cup nut mixture over fillo to within 1” of sides, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of honey. Layer with 2 more sheets of fillo, spraying each layer with cooking spray.
3.     Roll up jelly-roll style, starting from short side. Repeat with remaining fillo, nut mixture and honey.
4.     With a sharp knife, cut each roll into 6 pieces; place seam side down on a greased or sprayed baking sheet. Spray round with cooking spray. Bake in a preheated 325° oven for 16 to 20 minutes or until golden; drizzle with remaining honey.

Fillo Dough Tips:

  • Allow frozen fillo dough to thaw in refrigerator overnight.
  • Carefully unroll fillo sheets onto a smooth, dry surface.
  • Cover fillo completely with plastic wrap and then with a damp towel.
  • Use a small stack of fillo at a time.  Cover other sheets completely with plastic wrap and set aside.  Do not leave uncovered for more than one minute to avoid drying out.
  • Use approximately 1/2 cup butter for 16 full-sized sheets of fillo dough, or 1/2 Tbsp. of butter per full fillo sheet. (8 Tbsp. = 1/2 cup = 1 stick butter). Unsalted butter is preferred but salted also works.  Yes, margarine, oil or even pan spray can be used but the taste will be not be the same and the pastry will not be as light and flakey. Never wet or brush the fillo sheets (or "leaves," as the Greeks refer to them) with water. Doing so can cause the fillo to fall apart.
  • To prevent edges from cracking, brush edges first and then work into center.
  • Don't fret if the dough gets small tears or cracks in it. The dough is so thin that such cracks are inevitable. Simply brush the area with melted butter, patch up the problem area with a small piece of dough, and brush over it again with some more butter.
  • Fillings should be chilled and not excessively moist.
  • Because pastries using fillo are made with melted butter, always bake them on a pan with a lip to catch any runoff.
  • Unused fillo may be rolled in plastic wrap, tightly sealed & refrozen for up to 3 months.
  • Visit Athens Foods website for other tips, shaping diagrams and lots more recipes. 

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