Have you ever heard of phyllo dough? Some of you might have but here's a description (from the dictionary of course):
flaky, tissue-thin layers of pastry used in baked desserts and appetizers
Sounds boring, doesn't it? So on my little summer self-proclaimed bake-a-thon I stumbled upon a way to make these thin layers of dough into something delicious and suitable for any dessert craving: phyllo dough squares!!! (I will award anyone who can come up with a better name with a box of virtual phyllo dough squares).
Phyllo dough square are so yummy, crunchy, flaky, and fun to make. I will even show you how to make an equally as scrumptious pudding/topping for these squares. This dessert is customizable to almost any craving. Well enough talk, let's start baking shall we?
Step 1: Ingredients
For the actual phyllo dough squares recipe you will need:
- 7 sheets of frozen phyllo dough (make sure you thaw it according to the directions on the package)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of melted butter
- 7 1/2 teaspoons of sugar (this is for your taste so add more or add less- it's up to you)
For the pudding/topping aka pastry cream you will need:
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 1 3/4 cup of milk
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- Vanilla to taste (I used the "pinch" measuring spoon for this)
**As a side note, I usually use half these ingredients to get a better consistency for the cream but it is more time consuming doing the procedure twice to end up with the same amount of cream.
Fruit, nuts, and other kinds of frosting (check out my "A Simple Way to Make Frosting" instructable for a great recipe) can also be a topping. Be creative.
This is also the time to gather your equipment:
- A tray large enough to fit dough
- Paper towels
- Wax paper
- A baking tray
- Aluminum foil
- Brush (the kinds used for basting or a pastry brush)
- Heatproof bowl
Step 2: Preparation
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and cover your baking tray with aluminum foil. Open up the package of phyllo dough and roll it out on your other tray. Cover it with waxed paper and then put a slight damp paper towel on top. This is to keep the dough from drying out which phyllo dough does very easily.
Step 3: Making the Squares
This can be done right on the baking tray with the foil. In a small bowl, put the melted butter. Take one sheet of phyllo dough (be careful not to rip it and definitely replace the waxed paper and paper towel on top again) and place it onto the baking tray. Brush it lightly with the melted butter and sprinkle with the sugar (however much you want- I estimate I use 1 1/4 teaspoon). Repeat this step with the rest of the pieces of dough. Do not sprinkle the top layer with sugar!
Step 4: Baking
Use kitchen scissors or a knife and cut the dough into squares. Bake the phyllo dough in the oven until it is just puffy and beginning to brown (around 8 minutes). Set aside to cool.
You have now made phyllo dough squares! Continue onto the next step to learn how to make pastry cream- highly recommended.
Step 5: Making the Pastry Cream
In the saucepan, mix together sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Pour the milk in and whisk the mixture until it is well blended
In a separate bowl, crack open the egg and beat until smooth.
Keep these mixtures separate at the moment!
Step 6: Heating It Up
Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir it until the mixture thickens (about 4 to 6 minutes). Whisk in 1/2 a cup of this milk mixture into the bowl with the egg. Pour new mixture into the saucepan. Lower the heat and stir constantly until it resembles pudding. Remove from stove and stir in vanilla and butter.
Step 7: Finishing Up
Take one phyllo square and spoon the pastry cream onto the square. Place another square on top and decorate as desired. I used blueberries and frosting bags with decoration tips.
Take a bite. Tell me how your phyllo dough squares went!