baklava

Baklava is one of my favorite desserts. It originates in the Middle East and it’s a rich, decadent, sweet and delicious dessert. We’re talking irresistible layers of phyllo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with a honey syrup. It keeps well in the freezer and fridge, and even keeps at room temperature for about a week, so it’s a great option for gifts too.

Prep Time- 30 minutes
 Cook Time- 50 minutes
 Rest Time- 8 hours
 Total Time- 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the Baklava:

  • 16 oz walnuts
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom (or ground cloves)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 16 oz phyllo dough* thawed
  • 1 cup butter melted

For the Syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup good quality honey**
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 strip orange peel
  • 1 strip lemon peel

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Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Pulse the walnuts in a food processor with the cinnamon, cardamom, and salt until well chopped.
  • To assemble the baklava, place 8 layers of phyllo dough one-by-one on the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan, brushing each lightly with butter.
  • Spread 1/5 of the walnut mixture evenly on top (about 2/3 cup).
  • Add another 5 layers of phyllo one-by-one, brushing each with butter, then add another layer of nuts. The total sequence should be phyllo layers of 8,5,5,5,5,8, with nuts in between those layers.
  • Bake the baklava for 50 minutes, until golden on the edges and tops.
  • In the meantime, bring all the syrup ingredients to a boil in a saucepan, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the citrus peels and cinnamon stick, and pour the hot syrup evenly over the baklava.
  • Let the baklava cool completely at room temperature for 8 hours.

 

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