Easy to make Baklava at home.
Baklava. Those sweet sticky squares of nuts and cinnamon layered between sheets of flakey phyllo. Everyone has had it at one time or another.
Seems complex but is actually one of the easier treats you can make.
You can find the phyllo dough in the freezer section of most grocery stores.
I used pecans and almonds for my recipe. I chop them in the food processor to make quick work out of it. Definitely not the traditional nuts that are usually used in baklava but they are the 2 nuts I always have on hand.
1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
1 pound chopped nuts(4 cups)
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups of water
1 1/2 cup of whiter sugar
1 1/2 tsps of vanilla
3/4 cup of honey
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F(175 degrees C). Spray the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch pan with non stick spray.
Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. One package will make one 9 x 13 pan of Baklava. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of phyllo dough in the pan, butter thoroughly. (I melt the butter and gently brush it on with a pastry brush.) Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 – 3 tablespoons of the nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of phyllo dough, butter the dough, add 2 -3 tablespoons more of the nuts and repeat, layering as you go. (There will be about 12 thin layers of nuts.)The top layer will be like the bottom layer and should be about 8 sheets deep, no nuts within the top 8 layers. We do this to create a somewhat solid layer to hold the Baklava together once cut.
Using a sharp knife cut into square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan.
Bake for about 50 minutes until the Baklava is golden and crisp.
Make the sauce while the baklava is baking. Boil the sugar and water just until the sugar is melted. Add the vanilla and honey. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. And yes, use all the sauce, it looks like a lot but the layers of pastry will absorb every last drop of it! Allow to cool.
Usually as an addition to my cookie trays I like to serve the baklava in cupcake liners, not only does it keep the tray clean it make for easy serving.