Apple Chocolate Phyllo BALUCHON parcels

Adorably, elegant offerings found within...
apple and chocolate filled pastry parcels.

When an impromptu invitation comes your way...
do you rush out to buy something...
or do you prefer bringing something homemade?

If not flowers, a bottle or other welcomed host gifts...
I usually have dessert in mind.  Isn't that a surprise.

When everyone else is bringing cake, cookies and pies...
what can you offer as complimentary to the sweets table?

As I was scrambling for ideas...
I thought some fresh, crisp air would inspire me.

Why not experience the joy of gift making with...
these incredibly pleasing 'Baluchons'.

Of course, for those that are not familiar with Phyllo pastry dough...
this may just scare you away and that would be a real shame.

Phyllo Dough
...a delicate paper thin pastry sheet.
Phyllo, filo, or fillo...[pronounced: fee-lo]...
meaning 'leaf' in the Greek language.

Flaky, tissue paper thin sheets of raw, unleavened flour dough.  A pastry dough layered in very thin sheets that become flaky when baked.  When the layered Phyllo preparation is baked or deep-fried it becomes crispy and resembles puff pastry, though their preparation is very different and they are generally not substituted for one another.  ref.: wiki   
For a detailed post dedicated to Phyllo 101...
 refer to when these triangle pocket pastries were made.
The thing you need to be reminded of is how quickly the sheets dry out in-between uses.  Therefore, to prevent drying...gently unfold the Phyllo package.   Then, flatten and cover the remaining sheets between two papers of parchment.    Make sure to cover these sheets with a very damp tea towel or else, everything will fall apart quickly. 

These delicate pastry dough sheets go a...
long way to help you show-off your culinary skills.

Scrumptious 'Baluchon' stuffed pastries will impress every time.

This time, apple pickings had inspired me to...
make it the star of the parcel fillings.

Apple Chocolate Orange Nut 
Phyllo 'BALUCHON' parcels
Makes 24 pastries
Click HERE for a PRINTER version of RECIPE

(American / Metric measures)

. 2 Tbsps. (30ml) unsalted butter
. 3 medium apples (McIntosh or Pink Lady etc.), cored, peeled, sliced
. 1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar, packed
. pinch of salt
. 3 Tbsps. (45ml) orange (frozen concentrate)
. 1/8 cup (30ml) premium, dark Rum (optional)
. 2 tsps. (10ml) ground cinnamon
. 2 tsps. (10ml) vanilla extract
. 1/2 cup (90gr) bittersweet (65-70%) chocolate, coarsely chopped
. 1/2 cup (40g) roasted almonds, coarsely chopped

Phyllo Parcels:
. 4 large 'Phyllo' dough flat sheets
. 1/2 cup (125ml) unsalted butter, melted
. 1/4 cup (60ml) grape seed oil (or canola)
. confectioners' sugar (for garnish)

Preheat oven at 375F/190C/Gas 5
Position rack on second level from the bottom
Two large baking sheets, lined with parchment paper or a 'Silpat' (silicone mat) 

...Make the filling (Usually best to prepare this ahead of time up to a day).
1. In a large skillet, melt the butter on medium heat.  Add the apple slices and sauté until most of the moisture has seeped out.  Add the brown sugar, salt and orange.  Combine to cook a few minutes.  If so desired, the (optional) Rum can be added at this point.  Let the moisture cook out.  
2. Remove apple mixture from the heat and cool to room temperature.  This may take at least an hour plus. Once cooled, add the vanilla and cinnamon to the mix.   Lastly, just right before making the pastry parcels, add the chocolate chips as well as the nuts to complete the filling.
...Assembly - Phyllo pastry parcels 'Baluchons'
3. In a small bowl, melt the butter and add the oil to complete the brushing mix required to soften and flavour the Phyllo sheets.
4. After all your ingredients are ready to be assembled, go ahead and unwrap the four large sheets of Phyllo pastry.  Temporarily, place the sheets (optionally within parchment papers) under a very humid tea towel.  The remaining sheets should quickly be re-wrapped and stored for future recipes.
5. Lay one sheet flat on a clean surface.   With the butter mix, quickly use broad brush strokes to coat the outer edges inward to completely cover the surface.  Make sure not to saturate the sheets.  Then, place another sheet immediately over it.  Repeat the brushing for the second sheet.  
6. With either a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, divide the sheet in 12 equal squares (3 cuts length wise x 4 cuts width wise).
7. In each square center, spoon a small amount of the filling.  Leave a generous outer dough edge in order to facilitate the parcel making.  Once all squares are done, lift the corners of the dough, to then gather in the center.  Afterwards, gently twist and press down slightly.  Repeat for the rest of the parcels.
8. Lightly brush a little of the butter/oil mix on each parcel.  Place the parcels evenly on the first baking sheet.
9. BAKE for 12-14 minutes or until the tops and bottoms are golden brown.  Remove them from the oven and have them slightly cool on the sheet before transferring on a metal rack.
10. While the first batch of parcels are baking, continue to make the last portion of the 'baluchons'.
. Once all parcels have cooled significantly...sift confectioners' sugar to give them their finishing touch.

. These pastries are definitely best eaten within the next few hours after being made.  Usually, not a big problem to have ;o)  Otherwise, they will unfortunately soften and the crisp pastry will not be enjoyed as much.
. If you do happen to be left with extras, refrigerate them in an airtight container.  They can remain there no more than 3 days.  Re-heat them in a very low temp. oven for no more than 10 minutes. 

I do admit, it had taken me a few practice shots to get the parcels right.  
After the fourth...I was well on my way.   
The thrill of seeing them so presentable as well as those...
satisfying few bites...mummm...made it all worth while.

Take a chance and bring a fancy dessert to the party next time...
you’ll be glad you brought something special to the table ;o)

Let’s all have a superb week every one.

Flavourful wishes,

Comments or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SWEET creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)
. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later. 

Other PASTRY recipes that may be of interest:
- PHYLLO Chocolate Apple Nut triangle pockets