Sunday, January 26, 2014

Super Bowl XLVIII: Sticky Icky Brie Blunts

So, this year, if you are unaware, the two teams who have made it into the Super Bowl happen to come from the two states that legalized marijuana for recreational use. That has inspired a lot of jokes, and I write humor for a living (when I am not cooking), so of course, I needed to make a delicious but funny recipe that referenced marijuana without actually using marijuana (thanks for THAT suggestion, funny friends).

This recipe was seriously a whole lot of work to make a Super Bowl pot joke. Thankfully, it is REALLY delicious too, so they are worth the effort.

These "sticky icky" brie "blunts" have delicate layers of buttery phyllo filled with creamy brie, and a sweet buttery pecan crumble. Even better, after they have baked crispy, they are soaked in a tangerine cinnamon syrup. Seriously, I considered licking the plate when I sampled them... fine, I actually licked the plate.

Here is what you need for 18 of the "blunts":

The corn syrup doesn't really belong in this picture, it is in the syrup... just imagine it is photobombing.

1/2 of a package of fillo dough (there are 2 per box, and I used half of one of those)
5 oz Creme de Brie (it is rindless, and perfect for piping. You could use slices of brie also, though)
1/4 lb (1 stick) of butter, melted, divided
1/4 cup pecans
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
(there are more ingredients below)

You'll also need:
Plastic wrap
Wax Paper
A Damp towel (about the size of your phyllo dough)
A quart sized zipper bag or piping bag
A cup that will fit your zipper bag
A foil-lined baking pan
A pastry brush (or bbq basting brush)
A small grater for zesting
A small sauce pan

And for the syrup:

2 tablespoons corn syrup or honey
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon of tangerine, orange, or lemon zest
Juice of one tangerine or lemon, OR 3 tablespoons orange juice
Dash of cinnamon

So, when you work with fillo dough, you have to treat it really well. Like better than you would treat your significant other, almost. Since the dough dries out really fast, you have to get everything else ready before you open it, or it will get brittle and break, and make you say bad words.

I started by getting my fillo home ready. You'll need two pieces of plastic wrap, slightly longer than your tube of fillo dough. Then you will need a towel large enough to cover that plastic wrap. It needs to be damp... not soaking, but not dry. It will moisturize your fillo as you work.

Now, we need to get everything else prepped before we even think of opening our dough.

First the syrup:

As shown above, you are measuring 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of corn syrup or honey, 1/4 teaspoon of zest (remember, that is the orange part of the peel, stop when you get to the white pith), dash of cinnamon, and the juice of your citrus into a small sauce pan.

All of that gets whisked together and goes over medium heat until it boils. Then simmer it on low heat for 7 minutes. Once it is done, set it aside to cool.

Try not to take sips of it.

Next, our pecan crumble. 
Grind the pecans until they make a meal.

I made way too much... the recipe fixes that. =P

Now add the sugar,

the cinnamon, 

one tablespoon of the butter,  

And stir it until it is well combined. If it is not crumbly, add a tiny bit more butter until it holds together when squished. 

Next, open your Creme de Brie, 

place your zipper bag in a cup. Slip the top over the sides of the cup to keep it out of the way while you fill the bag with brie.

That way, it all gets in the bag and you don't need someone to hold the bag open for you.

Now squish it all into one corner of the bag so you will have control when you are piping it onto your fillo. And, set it aside.

At this point, you want to make sure that your butter is all melted. You need to set up a workspace on a piece of wax paper. Set up your brie, with the corner cut off of the bag so you can pipe it, next to your bowl of pecan crumble. I'm left-handed so it all goes to my left. On my right, I have my melted butter. And make sure that foil lined pan is ready for you to put your blunts into. 

And finally with all that done, we can open our fillo dough.

Since we are making short tube shaped pastries, I cut my fillo package in half and froze the rest of it. If you want a double batch, I suggest refrigerating the other half, in a zipper bag, until you are done with the first half. When you aren't getting a piece of fillo out of it's plastic and damp towel home, make sure to cover it back up carefully.

Now, we lay out one strip of fillo at a time, and brush butter on the whole thing.

Say hello to my mom's hand! Hi, mom's hand!

Make sure you get the whole surface. Start on the corners and work towards the center to get your fillo to cooperate best.

Once it is fully buttered, add another strip of fillo carefully and butter it too. You will have 4 layers of fillo for each roll. 

Once you have your four buttered layers, you can pipe on a strip of brie (keep it about 1/4 inch from the sides so you can pinch the edges of the pastry to give it that joint look) and sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of pecan crumble. 

Then roll your pastry until you have reached the 1/3 mark of your strip

Each buttered 4 layer strip should yield 3 pastries. Cut your first pastry off, 

pinch the edges,

and then make sure there is a good seal on the pastry so your filling doesn't leak out badly (they may leak a little).  Brush the top with a little more butter, and then place it in your foiled pan.

Once you get towards the last 8 sheets of fillo left in your pile, preheat your oven to 400 F.

Do a better job of sealing up your pastries than I did. And into the oven for 10-13 minutes, until they are golden brown on top.

Place your blunts in a shallow dish (you'll have more, clearly).

And then pour your cooled glaze all over those hot pastries. Keep going! More! You want them all sticky and glistening with that delicious syrupy glaze! Generally, soaking them for an hour or so will get you the sticky you want. 

Be sure to get extra napkins!

And I'll forgive you if you lick the plate!

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