Just after the holidays I made two pans of Baklava. It was the first time I had made it by myself (I remember making it with my mom once for a school project). It was pretty easy to make and the results were delicious. It's super sweet so a little is all you need. I cut the pieces pretty small. The honey keeps the baklava fresh for quite a while.
*One note though about the following recipe from The Pioneer Woman, only make HALF of the honey liquid to drizzle on top. I made a full recipe and more then half leftover.
1 package Phyllo Dough
4 cups Chopped Walnuts Or Pecans
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1-½ stick Butter, Melted (I used Earth Balance)
*2 cups Honey
*½ cups Water
*½ cups Sugar
*3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Remove phyllo dough package from freezer and place in the fridge for 24 hours to thaw. Remove from fridge 1 hour before using.
When working with the phyllo dough, only remove the sheets you immediately need, keeping the other sheets covered in plastic wrap, then a damp cloth.
Toss together the chopped walnuts and cinnamon. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly butter a rectangular baking pan. Make sure the sheets of phyllo will generally fit the pan (if they’re a little bigger, that’s okay.) If they’re much bigger, just trim them with a sharp knife.
Butter the top sheet of phyllo with melted butter, then grab it and the unbuttered sheet below it. Set the two sheets in the pan, buttered sheet face down. Press lightly into the pan. Repeat this twice more, so that you have six sheets of phyllo in the pan, three of the sheets buttered.
Sprinkle on enough walnuts to make a single layer. Butter two sheets of phyllo and place them on top of the walnuts. Add more walnuts, then two more buttered phyllo sheets. Repeat this a couple more times, or until you’re out of walnuts. Top with 4 more buttered phyllo sheets, ending with a buttered top. Cut a diagonal diamond pattern in the baklava using a very sharp knife.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until the baklava is very golden brown.
While the baklava is baking, combine 1 stick of the butter, honey, water, sugar, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.
When you remove the baklava from the oven, drizzle half the saucepan evenly all over the top. Allow it to sit and absorb for a minute, then drizzle on a little more until you think it’s thoroughly moistened. You’ll likely have some of the honey mixture leftover, which you can drink with a straw. Just kidding.
Allow the baklava to cool, uncovered, for several hours. Once cool and sticky and divine, carefully remove them from the pan and serve with coffee (or give as gifts!)
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