is the Greek version of biscotti, made by par-baking
loaves of cookies, then slicing them and baking them
again on a cookie sheet until they are toasted.
Greek pastry is all just nuts and honey?
a lot more to the Greek pastry plate than meets the eye. In
fact, there’s really very little honey in it.
of the pastry is drenched in a traditional Greek syrup made
of water and sugar, flavored with lemon juice, cinnamon,
cloves and just a spoon or two of honey.
the iconic baklava is layers of flaky phyllo dough with nuts
and syrup, there are also koulourakia — simple twists of
buttery shortbread — and kourambiethes, plain butter
cookies dusted in powdered sugar.
a primer on the eight most popular Greek pastries, and a few
recipes if you want to try your hand at making some at home.
— The best-known of all Greek pastries, baklava is made by
stacking buttered layers of phyllo dough and filling them
with a mixture of ground walnuts and spices. Cooled syrup is
poured over the tray of pastry warm from the oven.
— Sometimes called thiples or theples, or referred to as
honey curls, this pastry is flaky dough that has been fried
and rolled into jelly roll or other shapes, drizzled with
honey or syrup and sprinkled with chopped nuts.
— Oval-shaped cookies that are dipped in syrup and topped
with chopped nuts.
— Egg custard made with farina (Cream of Wheat) is baked
inside phyllo dough sheets, and topped with syrup warm from
the oven. These typically are made into rolls, but also can
be made in a sheet pan and cut into squares.
— While it may look like a shredded wheat biscuit, this
pastry is actually made from a specialty dough of pastry
strands. The strands are filled with nuts, baked, and then
coated in syrup.
— A simple butter cookie, sometimes containing ground
almonds, which gets a generous coating of confectioner’s
sugar before serving.
— This simple twisted butter cookie is made with plenty of
eggs, which give the cookie its yellow color. Not too sweet,
it’s the perfect accompaniment to coffee.
— The Greek version of biscotti, this cookie is made by
par-baking loaves of cookies, then slicing them and baking
them again on a cookie sheet until they are toasted.
walnuts, finely chopped
tsp. ground cloves
lbs. phyllo dough
recipe Greek pastry syrup, cooled (recipe follows)
bowl, add sugar, walnuts and spices. Butter an 11-by-17-inch
pan and layer six sheets of phyllo dough in the pan,
brushing the top of each with melted butter as you lay them
in the pan. Sprinkle 1/3 of the walnut mixture over the
dough. Add 6 more sheets of phyllo, again buttering between
the layers. Sprinkle with another 1/3 of the nut mixture,
followed by a layer of 6 more sheets of buttered phyllo.
Spread the final 1/3 of the nut mixture over, and top with
the remaining phyllo sheets, buttering between the layers
and buttering the top of the final sheet.
for 15 minutes, then use a sharp knife tip to score the
score the top of the pastry into diamond shapes.
at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven. Cut baklava along score marks. Pour cooled
syrup onto hot baklava. Let set for several hours or
overnight to allow pastry to absorb the syrup.
about 4 dozen pieces, depending on size.
tbsp. whole cloves
sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; boil for 15
minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes
more. Set aside to cool. Strain to remove cinnamon stick and
cloves before using.
enough for 1 tray of pastry.
Adapted from Treasures from Our Hope Chest, Elpis/Hope
Society, Akron, Ohio
quick Cream of Wheat
recipe Greek pastry syrup (recipe above)
milk, stick of butter and sugar to a boil, stirring
constantly. Whisk in Cream of Wheat, and stir until well
combined. Add eggs slowly while stirring constantly. Reduce
heat and cook, stirring, until mixture is thickened.
from heat, cool custard, and set aside.
phyllo dough, and cut in half, width-wise.
one half-sheet with melted butter. Place 1 tablespoon of
custard in the center of the sheet about 2 inches from the
bottom. Fold up bottom of sheet over custard and fold in
sides. Brush dough again with melted butter, and roll up
like a cigar. Brush finished roll with melted butter.
process with remaining half sheets and custard.
rolls on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45
minutes or until golden brown. Pour cooled syrup over warm
rolls. Let stand for several hours to absorb the syrup
completely. Refrigerate when cooled.
about 40 rolls.
from Treasures from Our Hope Chest, Elpis/Hope Society,