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Baklava

This heavenly baklava combines honey-soaked layers of flaky phyllo pastry with spiced walnuts. It's a great make-ahead dessert!
Course Dessert
Keyword baklava
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Rest Time 8 hours
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 32
Calories 215kcal

Ingredients

For the Baklava:

  • 16 oz walnuts
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom (or ground cloves)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 16 oz phyllo dough* thawed
  • 1 cup butter melted

For the Syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup good quality honey**
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 strip orange peel
  • 1 strip lemon peel

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Pulse the walnuts in a food processor with the cinnamon, cardamom, and salt until well chopped.
  • To assemble the baklava, place 8 layers of phyllo dough one-by-one on the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan, brushing each lightly with butter.
  • Spread 1/5 of the walnut mixture evenly on top (about 2/3 cup).
  • Add another 5 layers of phyllo one-by-one, brushing each with butter, then add another layer of nuts. The total sequence should be phyllo layers of 8,5,5,5,5,8, with nuts in between those layers.
  • Bake the baklava for 50 minutes, until golden on the edges and tops.
  • In the meantime, bring all the syrup ingredients to a boil in a saucepan, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the citrus peels and cinnamon stick, and pour the hot syrup evenly over the baklava. 
  • Let the baklava cool completely at room temperature for 8 hours (uncovered, to prevent sogginess). Then it's ready to enjoy!

Notes

*My 1-lb box of phyllo said it had 18 13x18" layers, so I cut them in half, and had 36 sheets total for my 9x13 pan.
**I cannot overstate how important it is to use a good honey here. If it comes in a bear shape bottle, probably steer clear. Ideally look for raw honey.

Nutrition

Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 123mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 160IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 0.8mg