TRADITIONAL BAKLAVA

Ingredients

  • 16 0z. frozen Phyllo dough, thawed according to package directions
  • 1 lb chopped or ground pistachios or almonds
  • 1/2lb butter, melted
  • 2 cups honey
  • 2 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch pan and set it aside. Mix nuts, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and the ground cloves together in a bowl and set aside.

2) Unroll the Phyllo dough. Working with one sheet of dough at a time, roll until it is the thickness of a sheet of heavy duty printer paper. Keep the other dough under a damp paper towel, so it won’t dry out when not in use. Place the first Phyllo sheet into the bottom of the pan. Brush with melted butter. Add about 6 sheets of thin Phyllo dough, brushing butter over each layer to build a base.

3) After establishing a base, sprinkle with nut mixture before adding another sheet of Phyllo dough. Alternate dough, butter, nuts, and repeat until there are at least 10 layers.

4) End the Baklava with another 4-6 sheets of thin dough. Cut the Baklava into diamond shapes or squares using a sharp knife to cut smoothly. Brush any remaining butter over the top.

5) Bake for 45 minutes. The pastry should be golden brown and puffed when done.

6) While the Baklava bakes, make the syrup by combining the remaining sugar, water, honey, and vanilla in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Set aside.

7) After removing the Baklava from the oven, pour the syrup over it while it’s still hot. Let it sit until cool.

Variations

Baklava is highly adaptable. Different extracts and spices can be used to vary the flavor, or the dessert can be finished with glazes made from chocolate, peanut butter, or fruit preserves. In addition, other types of nuts can be substituted or mixed together.

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