Treat Yourself to Sweet, Buttery Filo Chips

Treat Yourself to Sweet, Buttery Filo Chips

A fine dessert doesn’t always have to be elaborate, or even pretend to be. There’s something a bit fancy about a sweet that owns its simplicity, and parades around in its thrown-togetherness. This four-ingredient crisp is proud, confident, and simultaneously nothing special (in a girl-next-door, no-makeup sort of way). Treat yourself to buttery cinnamon filo chips, and revel in its fancy simplicity.

These filo chips are assembled within minutes and cooked with similar swiftness. How you fold them doesn’t really matter, as long as you butter the filo and sprinkle it with flavored sugar, you could crumple it up like an old receipt and still get something great at the end. However, if you prefer instructions, proceed as follows.

Mix a spoonful of white sugar together with 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Lay out one sheet of thawed filo dough and brush the entire side with a thin coating of butter. Using your fingertips and nothing to measure but your frame of mind, sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar over the buttered filo. Fold the phyllo in half, or in a letter-fold (in thirds). Butter the side of the dough facing up, sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar and fold it in half. There’s no need to be perfect. In fact, phyllo dries so quickly, you’ll almost certainly have lovely irregularities in your butter parcel. Butter the top, and scatter a final dose of cinnamon sugar onto it. Toss it into an air fryer set to 300°F and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until evenly browned and crisp.

Cool the filo chips on a wire rack for a few minutes before cracking into them. Once I took a bite, I got the feeling that these are probably what angels eat at the state fair in heaven. It’s like a featherweight, cinnamon flavored funnel cake. Crunchy with a hint of sweet, and the impression of something deep-fried but without the weightiness (and without the deep fry). These chips are a perfect light dessert for when you want something sweet but aren’t all that hungry. Basically, they’re the dough equivalent of popcorn; they look substantial, but dissolve on the tongue.

I decided to make them cinnamon, but you could go a few different directions with the help of your spice cabinet and imagination. Substitute the cinnamon for cardamom, cocoa powder, za’atar, or lemon zest. Top them with powdered sugar if you want a heavenly state fair kind of feeling. Crunch on these in their messy simplicity, or tuck one into pudding or a bowl of whipped cream. Roughly crumble a filo chip over ice cream for a wonderfully wispy, crisp garnish. The following recipe uses the air fryer, but you could pop a few of these in the conventional oven at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until evenly browned and crisp.

Cinnamon Sugar Filo Chips


  • 2 sheets filo dough, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Set the air fryer to the “air fry” setting at 300°F.

Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Lay out one sheet of filo dough and butter the surface. Sprinkle the buttered surface with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Fold the dough in half or in thirds. Butter the side facing up. Sprinkle that side with more cinnamon sugar. Fold it in half. Butter the new side facing up and sprinkle that with sugar. Repeat with the other sheet of filo dough. Put these in the air fryer, buttered-side up. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until evenly browned and crisp.

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