Baklava isn’t nearly as difficult to make as you would think. The hardest part is handling the dough. It tears easily so gentle hands are necessary. Make sure the dough is thawed all the way, otherwise when you start to unroll it you will get large cracks throughout. If it’s important that this dish be pretty (such as for guests, potlucks, etc) then piece together the torn pieces on the bottom and throughout, and use the intact pieces on the top.
- 1 package phyllo dough, thawed
- 1 pound chopped Walnuts
- 2 cups melted butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup honey
- Preheat oven to 325° F.
- Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9×13 inch pan.
- Chop walnuts very small (I use my food processor) and toss in medium bowl with cinnamon. Set aside.
- Unroll phyllo dough. Cut entire stack at the same time to fit pan. Cover dough with a slightly damp cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in pan, use pastry brush to butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle about 2/3 cup of nut mixture on top. Place two sheets of dough on top of nuts, use pastry brush to butter thoroughly. Repeat until you are out of nuts. The top layer should be about 8 sheets deep, same as the bottom layer.
- 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 then 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 pour sauce over it. It will bubble up nice and pretty! Let cool. Leave it lightly covered, it gets soggy if it is wrapped up too tightly.