(This one is dedicated to a sweet friend who encouraged me countless times to get this website going. She is a champion who has carried and birthed twins and is killing this momma thing!)
Contrary to popular belief, baklava isn’t tough to make. It’s just a bit time consuming because of all of the layers. You can do this!
Things you will need:
- 1 (16oz) package of phyllo dough, thawed
- 2 cups finely chopped pecans
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, toss the pecans with cinnamon and set to the side. In another mixing bowl, melt your 1 cup of butter.
You are ready to assemble your baklava!
Roll your dough out (only 1 package at a time). Take two sheets of the phyllo dough and place in a 9×13 glass baking dish. Brush butter on top. Place another two sheets on top and butter again. Continue to do this until the bottom of the pan is 8 sheets of phyllo thick.
Do not worry about folds and wrinkles. Phyllo is fragile. To me, the wrinkles actually make it better! No need for perfection.
Sprinkle with approximately 3 tbsp of the pecan mixture. Add two sheets more of phyllo, butter it, then sprinkle again with 3 tbsp of nuts. Continue to repeat two layers of phyllo, butter, then nuts, until the nut mixture is gone. End your baklava with 8 layers of phyllo dough brushed with butter every two layers (Just like the beginning of your layers). Take a sharp knife and cut baklava into squares or diamonds. Don’t cut all the way to the bottom. This will help the syrup soak through the layers later. Bake in your preheated oven for 50 minutes.
While baklava bakes, cook your syrup. In a saucepan over medium heat, mix your water and sugar together. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Add honey, stir, and adjust temperature to low. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
When baklava is done baking, remove from the oven, and pour the syrup all over the top of it. Allow to cool and serve.
If you want to make this super authentic, you can do what my precious middle eastern neighbor does, and top it with ground pistachio.