This dessert was born out of the current circumstance of my life. Big things are changing for me in the next few months. While it all feels good and exciting, I have to admit that big change makes me anxious. You might think that when I get anxious, I bake. That makes sense, right? Well I actually clean (a lot!) when I get nervous. I called this afternoon’s kitchen scrubbing extravaganza “spring cleaning”. That’s how I justified my nerves. It is almost spring, after all.
My spring cleaning, in turn, reminded me of strawberries. I love strawberries, and impatiently await their arrival in April. Clearly, I couldn’t wait until April. Once my kitchen sparkled, I went out in search of strawberries, to make my spring themed day more complete.
With the strawberries I created Browned Butter Cardamom Spiced Sugar Paper. Sugar Paper is just a fancy name for Fillo dough layered with butter and sugar and spice. This dessert was a wonderful respite to my cleaning frenzy. With spring comes change. Somewhere in the cleaning and baking, I began to feel more comfortable with that.
The recipe for the Sugar Paper is super easy and open to chef interpretation. Here’s what I did.
Brown Butter Cardamom Spiced Sugar Paper
makes 4 sugar papers
10-12 fillo dough sheets, cut in half so they measure approximately 6inches x 9 inches
1/2 stick melted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
scant 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
Place oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, keep an eye one it, swirling in the pan occasionally. The butter will begin to brown and little brown bits will form. When butter colors slightly and you see the brown bits, turn of flame and remove from heat. Place in a small dish and have a pastry brush on hand.
In another small dish, combine sugar and cardamom and mix until evenly incorporated.
Remove 10-12 fillo dough sheets, cut them in half, and cover them with a moist towel immediately. They dry out very quickly if left out in the air. You should have 20-24 sheets. Wrap up the remaining fillo dough with plastic wrap and place back in the fridge or freezer.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place first one or two sheets of fillo dough on the sprayed baking pan and brush with browned butter, from edge to edge. Sprinkle with sugar mixture from edge to edge. Place the next 2 sheets of fillo dough on top of the first layer and brush with butter, then sprinkle with sugar. Continue stacking, buttering and sugaring all of the fillo pieces, two at a time, creating a stack of layered fillo dough.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cook completely on the baking sheet. When cook, remove from baking sheet and cut into four even pieces.
Assemble fillo pieces as desired- I chose lightly sweetened whipped cream with sliced strawberries. Don’t be afraid to play around!