Tasty Tuesday–Baklava

The baklava I made last week for VBS was a huge hit, so I’ll share the recipe for anyone interested in an impressive-looking Mediterranean dessert. A word to the wise: I’ve never actually used all 16 ounces of phyllo dough in the package. Maybe I spread too many walnuts on each layer, but I’ve always run out of filling before I’ve run out of dough. I haven’t heard any complaints, though, so I don’t think it really matters!

  • 1 16-ounce package phyllo dough
  • 1 pound chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9×13 inch pan.
Toss chopped walnuts with cinnamon. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cover with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 – 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 – 8 sheets deep.
Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.
Make sauce while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. Serve in cupcake papers. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.

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