Meet one of my favorite desserts – EVER. It’s not hard considering that I’ve admitted that my favorite food is all things Mediterranean. Luckily, baklava is just as easy to make as it is delicious. All in all, this recipe is just the same set of steps repeated over and over again to create a buttery and flaky dessert that’s sure to wow your guests.
I am going to just say that baklava is an addiction. It’s a rare treat reserved for special occasions in our house, but once available, I wish someone would ration this.
adapted from Food Network
- 1 (16 oz) package of phyllo dough, thawed
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 16 oz chopped roasted nuts (I prefer a mix of pistachios and walnuts)
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 cups of white granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 cup water
- 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup honey
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1 clove of cardamom (or a pinch of ground cardamom)
- 1 tsp rose water (optional)
- 1 2-inch piece of orange peel
- Preheat oven to 350F. Using the melted butter, butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13 pan.
- In a food processor, pulse the nuts until you reach your desired consistency. I prefer a mixture of finely ground nuts with some chopped pieces mixed in.
- Toss together the cinnamon, cardamom, nuts and white sugar.
- Unwrap the phyllo dough and place under a damp cloth so it does not dry out.
- Place two sheets of phyllo dough in the pan and brush the phyllo with butter lightly with a pastry brush.
- Repeat with two sheets until you have a layer that’s 8 sheets deep.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the nut mixture over the phyllo dough.
- Place another two sheets of phyllo and brush lightly with the melted butter.
- Repeat with the nuts and the phyllo dough.
- Top the last layer with another 8 pieces of phyllo dough.
- Using a sharp knife cut the phyllo dough (into diamonds or squares) within half an inch from the bottom of the pan.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until the phyllo is golden brown and crisp.
- After placing the baklava into the oven, prepare the syrup. In a saucepan, mix together the sugar and water and heat over medium heat until the sugar is melted. Add the vanilla extract, honey, cinnamon stick, cardamom, rose water, and orange peel. Allow this mixture to come to a boil and reduce heat to let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick, cardamom and orange peel. Let it cool while the baklava bakes.
- Once the baklava is done, remove from the oven and immediately pour the syrup over the phyllo dough.
- Cool and cut all the way through.