Sunday, March 27, 2016

Make this, then sit back and enjoy the applause: Baklava

Baklava! It's delicious. It looks amazing. And it is easy to do. Just remember to start two days before you want to serve the dessert.

So, let's go!


1 packet Phyllo dough. The box from the grocery store freezer section contains two packages. You'll need just one.

1 stick of butter, plus more to grease a 9 x 13 pan

16 ounces of toasted walnuts, chopped into pieces in the food processor.
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of cardamon
pinch of nutmeg

2 cups honey
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
1 tsp vanilla

I. The day before you bake.

The day before you want to make the baklava, put a packet of phyllo dough into the refrigerator to defrost.

Isn't this easy!?

II. Bake day!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Get the packet of phyllo dough out of the refrigerator; let it rest on the counter for about an hour. While it's resting, proceed with the steps below.

1. Make the sauce.

Combine 2 cups of honey, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, and lemon zest in a sauce pan. Stirring continuously, bring to a simmer over medium heat; gently simmer 10 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and simmer 5 minutes more.

Set aside and allow to cool.

2. Prepare the nuts.

Toast 16 ounces of nuts for about 8 minutes in the oven. Coarsely chop the in the food processor
In a large bowl, combine the nuts with 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 cup sugar and a pinch of nutmeg and cardamon.

3. Assemble and Bake.

Butter the 9 x 13 pan. Melt the stick of butter in a sauce pan.

Unfold the phyllo dough. Brush melted butter on one sheet, and place that sheet in the pan, buttered side down. Cover with an unbuttered sheet. Repeat this twice more (buttered, unbuttered; buttered, unbuttered). Six sheet are now in the pan. (6)

Sprinkle some of the nut mixture over the dough; about a 1/4 cup should do it.

Add three more sheets of phyllo dough: buttered, unbuttered, buttered. (3) Then, sprinkle nut mixture over the dough.

Repeat using two sheets of phyllo dough: buttered, unbuttered. (2) Then top with nut mixture.

Repeat the layering again with two sheet of dough followed by nut mixture, as above. Continue until you have only 3 sheet of phyllo dough remaining.

Butter each of the remaining sheets of dough and add them to the pan. The final sheet should have its buttered side facing out.

Using a serrated knife, carefully cut the dough into diamonds or squares.

Bake for 40 minutes.

4. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately pour the honey mixture on to the bars. Allow the baklava to sit on the counter, uncovered.

III. Day Three: Serve the fabulous treats!


A pan of baklava - heaven!

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