I like to hit up the local Greek festival here every fall ...every time I get there, I make a beeline to the pastry booth and look for my favorite delight- baklava! This amazing treat has always mystified me....so tasty, flaky and heavenly...yet you rarely see anyone attempt to make this at home. It can be costly to buy in cafes but surprisingly simple to make. It was time to slay the beast. Feeling courageous, I put on my apron and attempted to make this savory, unique dessert. Here's what you'll need:
1 (16 oz) package phyllo dough
1 lb (about 4 cups) chopped walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c butter
1 c water
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c honey
Grease the sides of a 9x13 pan. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon..set aside. With everything prepared, get out the phyllo. Unroll and cut the stack in half, so it's the size of the pan. Remember to cover phyllo with a damp cloth as you work, to prevent it from drying and cracking.
start with freshly chopped nuts w/ cinnamon
keep moist towel over phyllo
Place two sheets of dough in pan, brush with butter thoroughly. Keep doing this until you have 8 sheets layered. Now it's time to add the nut mixture...sprinkle about 2-3 Tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with 2 sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. When you get to about 8 sheets of phyllo left, use this as your top layer, buttering every 2 layers (you should have a top layer of 6-8 sheets of phyllo).
butter each layer of 2 phyllo sheets
sprinkle spiced nuts over each layer
Using a sharp knife, cut into diamond shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan (you can do this by making four long rows, then diagonally slicing through them). Bake for 50 minutes at 350 until golden and crisp. While that's baking, let's make the sauce...
Boil sugar and water until sugar is dissolved..add vanilla and honey and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it, let cool. Leave it uncovered to keep it flaky and to avoid it getting soggy...you can serve it in pretty cupcake papers or as is.
boil sugar and simmer 20 min
pour over baklava and let cool
I loved the rich, nutty taste..bursting with buttery, flaky goodness and not difficult to make! The only time-taking part is continuous layering and being careful not to rip the phyllo, but if you have patience and dedication to make this yummy treat, you'll find you can make a Baklava that even the most decadent cafes couldn't boast.
nutty, flaky goodness