Baklava

Baklava is great for parties as they are easy to serve and makes a wonderful gift, not only during holiday season. Who would say no to a box of homemade Baklava?  Enjoy this sweet, sticky and crunchy dessert year round. I sometimes enjoy Baklava while they’re a bit warm, just like eating warm sticky donuts!!! You know what I’m talking about………

Yields: 50 Servings

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes + Resting Time

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Phyllo Dough
  • 3 cups  Walnuts or Pecans, chopped + ¼ cup for garnish
  • 1 cup Pistachios, chopped + ¼ cup for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 stick Butter, Melted
  • 2 cups Honey
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Instructions:

  1. Thaw Phyllo dough package in the refrigerator the night before. Place Phyllo dough on the kitchen counter 1 hour before using.
  2. In a small bowl toss together chopped walnuts or pecans; pistachios and cinnamon, set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly butter a rectangular baking pan on bottom and sides. Keep Phyllo sheets covered with a damp cloth.

 

  1. Make sure the sheets of Phyllo will fit the pan, if they’re bigger, just trim them with a sharp knife.

 

  1. Butter the top sheet of Phyllo with melted butter. Then grab the buttered top sheet and the unbuttered sheet below it, set the two sheets in the pan buttered sheet face down. Press lightly into the pan.

 

  1. Repeat this process twice, so you have six sheets of Phyllo in the pan, three of the sheets buttered.
  2. Sprinkle on enough walnuts or pecans and pistachios to make a single layer. Butter two sheets of Phyllo and place them on top of the walnuts or pecans. Add a layer of walnuts or pecans and pistachios, then two more buttered Phyllo sheets. Repeat this until you’re out of chopped walnuts or pecans and pistachios mix.

 

  1. Top with 4 more buttered Phyllo sheets, ending with a buttered top. Cut a diagonal diamond pattern or squares in the baklava using a very sharp knife.
  2. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the baklava is golden brown.

    Syrup:

 

  1. Combine 1 stick of the butter, honey, water, sugar, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Keep the syrup warm.
  2. Remove the baklava from the oven, drizzle half the saucepan evenly over the top. Allow it to sit and absorb for a minute, then drizzle on a little more until you think it’s thoroughly moistened. Garnish with chopped walnuts or pecans and pistachios.

 

  1. Allow the baklava to cool, uncovered, for several hours. Once cool carefully remove them from the pan and on to serving platter. Serve them at room temperature with hot tea or coffee.

Helpful Hints:

  1. Remember when working with the Phyllo dough; only remove the sheets you immediately need, keeping the other sheets covered in plastic wrap then a damp cloth or just damp cloth. Phyllo sheets tend to dry quickly as they are thin and easy to break.  

 

  1. Select a baking pan that will fit the sheets of Phyllo. If they’re bigger it is okay do not panic, just trim them with a sharp knife.

 

  1. Variations to the recipe:

 

  • Take 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract and 1 teaspoon Rose Extract. OR
  • Rose water instead of water.
  • Do not make this substitute both together as the rose flavor will be overwhelming and too strong to eat. A delicate rose flavor is tastier in desserts.

 

  1. Once cool Baklava will be sticky, crunchy and so divine to eat. Carefully remove them from the pan they tent to break easily.

 

  1. If you have extra syrup spread a thin layer of warm syrup and a piece of baklava on top with some nuts to garnish on top. Your guest will be impressed with a simple but gourmet presentation!!!

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