Baklava Fingers

Maybe not as fabulous as the real thing, not as overloaded with nuts and oversaturated with aromatic syrup, still, these are pretty good for what they are – little sweet treats made of some phyllo leftovers (there’s always something left unless the baklava itself was made). The fingers also keep better, stay crisp longer.

Makes 32


  • 1 cup pistachios
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 8 phyllo sheets
  • 8 tbsp (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ honey
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cardamom pods, crushed
  • lemon peel of 1 small lemon, removed in wide strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 2 tbsp brandy


Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. Set aside.

In a bowl of the food processor, combine the pistachios and sugar. Process until finely ground. Stir in the ground cardamom and cinnamon.

Cover a working surface with a large sheet of parchment paper. Place 1 sheet of phyllo on the parchment paper, with one long side parallel to the edge of the work surface. Cover the rest of the phyllo with plastic wrap first and then with a damp dish towel (avoid direct contact of the phyllo with the wet towel to prevent the phyllo from getting soggy).

Using a pizza wheel, cut the phyllo sheet into 4 equal rectangles making two perpendicular cuts through the middle. Work with one small rectangle at a time; place it with one long side parallel to the edge of the working surface. Cover the remaining 3 rectangles with plastic wrap. Visually, divide the rectangle into thirds lengthwise. Brush the middle third with a little bit of melted butter and sprinkle with about 1 tbsp of nut mixture. Fold the upper third over the filling, then brush this folded part with a bit of butter and sprinkle again with another tablespoon of nut mixture. Fold the lower third over the filling again and lightly brush with butter. Gently roll the strip, buttered side up, over a handle of a wooden spoon. Delicately slide the cylinder off the spoon and place it onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining phyllo. You will get 4 baklava fingers from each phyllo sheet, 32 in total.

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes until golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet on a cooling rack.

Meanwhile, make syrup. In a small heavy saucepan, combine the water, sugar, honey, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, and lemon peel. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the sugar is dissolved. Take off the heat and stir in the brandy. Transfer the baked and cooled fingers into a rimmed baking pan (like glass Pyrex) just large enough to fit them all. I like to stand the fingers upright first to allow the syrup to penetrate better, and then drop them on their side. Pour the hot syrup over the fingers leaving the peel and spices behind. Give the fingers a turn in the syrup to saturate, wait for several hours before serving. If you have any nut mixture left, sprinkle it over the fingers before serving. They can be kept in air-tight container for about a week.

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18 Responses to “Baklava Fingers”

  1. These are genius! Great photos.

  2. vera – these look sensational. actually while i love all kinds of baklava these kinds are my fave!

  3. Mmmmmmmmhhhhhh, goodness!
    I love Baklava and like very much the “finger version”

  4. In your instructions, Fold the upper third over the filling, then brush this folded part with a bit of butter and sprinkle again with “another tablespoon of butter”., should it be “another tablespoon of nut mixture”? They sound very good. Will have to try them.

  5. Michele, Meeta, Fabi, thank you!

    Annie Estes, sure, it should be the nut mixture :) Thanks for pointing it out.

  6. I’ve had baklava on my to-do list for way too long! I’d love to try this route. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I love baklava but have never made it! This looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  8. I love baklava cigars–totally as fabulous as any other version of this sweet! (I think they are also called bourekakia or Pourakia (Πουράκια) )

    Such beautiful, luminous photos (as always) . . . I can practically smell the fragrance of the cardamom and cinnamon (but is there a shortcut for making the syrup with ground cinnamon and cardamom if we don’t have the whole spices?).

  9. Very lovely Vera!

  10. pshaw! this is more than close enough to the real thing to satisfy me! very nice, vera–thanks!

  11. My husbands favorite pastry is baklava.
    I have never seen fresh cardamon pods here,
    how fun to use something this exotic and perfumy.

  12. What a great twist on a favorite treat. Your mouthwatering photos are really delightful as well.

  13. Beautiful photos. Nice twist on a classic treat.

  14. These look awfully good and probably not as sweet as the normal baklava. I love the combination of spices that have been used and it must have been a heavenly smell in your kitchen. Love the pictures as always.

  15. Yum! Baklava is one of my favorites, but SO rich… These little Baklava Fingers look like a perfect pre-portioned snack :)

  16. Gorgeous flavours and pictures that sing Vera! Very very nice!!

  17. Thank you all very much for the kind words!

    Laura, sure, you can use ground spices instead, about 1/4 tsp of each should do the trick.

  18. I live in Turkey so I know what baklava is.Your version is great! I love cardamom!

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