Tiropitas

Tiropitas are a Greek recipe creating cheesy puffs with a light, buttery, crispy phyllo outside.  My family makes them for get-togethers and I can never help but order a few when the Greekfest comes around at our local Greek Orthodox church.  They are like taking a bite of heaven when they first come out of the oven, but I love them any way I can get them--hot, cold, re-heated in the microwave, whatever!




I learned how to make tiropitas right around the time I learned how to walk.  Phyllo can be an intimidating ingredient to work with because it is extremely thin and very fragile, but with a little patience the results are definitely worth it.  Phyllo is used for making Baklava, Spakopitas, and Galactoboureko amongst many other delicious Greek recipes.

The recipe my family follows is from an old It's Greek to Me! cookbook.

To start, I melted some butter in a small saucepan and got a pastry brush ready.  I set out the phyllo dough and covered it with wax paper and a damp towel to keep it from drying out.  In a large bowl, I mixed together the crumbled feta, cottage cheese, and egg until well combined to make the filling.


To make the tiropita, I laid out a sheet of phyllo dough lengthwise and used the brush to spread some butter over it. I then folded the top and bottom thirds of the sheet in and spread butter over the top. I scooped about a tablespoon of the cheese mixture onto the edge of the dough, then folded the the cheese and dough together in a triangle shape. I continued following the triangle pattern until the phyllo was rolled up, leaving a triangular shaped cheese puff.


I laid the tiropitas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread butter over the top of each.


I baked them for 20 minutes, until they were golden brown.


The results were fantastic as always.  My sister and I teamed up and made them as a side for a family dinner and everyone was snatching them up as they came out of the oven.  The recipe makes enough for 2-3 trays full and we had enough to send some home with everyone.  To make Spanokopitas, you just need to add Spinach to the filling.  Greek food rules!

Tiropitas Recipe

Ingredients:

2 pounds feta cheese, crumbled
16 ounces cottage cheese
2 eggs
1 to 1 1/2 cups (2-3 sticks) butter
2 boxes phyllo dough

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Mix cottage cheese, eggs, and crumbled feta in a large bowl. Lay out phyllo on a sheet of wax paper, then lay another sheet of wax paper over the top and cover with a moist towel to prevent phyllo from drying out. To make tiropita, lay a sheet of phyllo out lengthwise and spread butter over it. Fold top third of sheet down and bottom third up to make long strip, then spread butter over the top. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the feta cheese mixture onto the corner of the folded dough. Fold down corner of dough around the filling to make a triangle shape. Continue folding in diagonal pattern to create triangular cheese puff. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.


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