Thursday, May 29, 2014


A long time ago I made Baklava.

I made it with our fresh honey from our beehive.

It was delicious.

The best compliment was when my cousin Vince said it was delicious... he is Bulgarian and his mom makes incredible baklava, so that was a very nice compliment.

Here is my recipe. I adapted it from like 3 others I looked up (and wasn't satisfied with), so I guess this is my own in lots of ways.

Don't be intimidated by the number of steps. There are just lots to make it very clear, but it's not that complicated.



1 lb butter (salted)
1 package phyllo dough
1 1/2 cups honey
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla (I used real vanilla here- not the cheap stuff- but it would be fine)
2-4 cups of chopped nuts (Pecans, walnuts, or pistachios. I used about 2 1/2 cups of pecans)
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix 1 stick of butter, the honey, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Let boil for about 30 seconds, add the vanilla, and turn the burner to low/warm until ready to use.

1. Mix nuts and cinnamon and set aside.

2. Unroll half of the phyllo dough at a time. Put the stack between two sheets of plastic wrap. (You can tape the bottom sheet of plastic wrap to the table and it makes it easier.) Then put a damp dish towel on top of the whole stack. Only remove 2 sheets of dough at a time, and keep the rest covered religiously.

2.5.  Melt the other 3 sticks of butter.

3. Butter a 9x13 pan. Lay 2 sheets of phyllo dough inside the bottom of the pan. (The dough might be a little big so the sides of the dough may curl up at the edges- that's fine.) Butter the top layer of dough with 1 Tb butter. (It's easiest to drizzle it on with a tablespoon and then spread it out.)

3.5. Repeat this process until you have 4 layers (8 sheets of dough) and butter the top.

4. Use half the nuts and create an even layer of nuts on the top of the dough. Press them down gently into the dough. Spread a little bit of butter over the top of the nuts.

5. Put 2 more sheets of dough on top of the layer of nuts. Spread 1 Tb of butter over the dough.

6. Use the rest of the nuts and create another layer of nuts just like before. Press it down gently and butter the top a little bit.

7. Use the rest of the phyllo dough, 2 sheets at a time (buttering the top sheet on each layer) until you've used the entire package of dough. (Make sure to butter the very top layer.)

8. Cut slits (creating squares or diamonds or whatever shape you'd like to serve it in) through the top layers of the dough, stopping at the top nut layer. Be very careful and use a sharp knife and you won't mess up your layers or anything.

9. Bake the baklava at 375 F for 30 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 325 F and cook for about 30 more minutes, until it's as golden as you'd like the final product to be.

Finishing it up
10. Let the baklava cool for about 10 minutes and then recut along your lines, cutting all the way through to the bottom this time.

11. Using a tablespoon, spook about 3/4 of the sauce into the cracks you just cut. If you get some on the top that's fine (I'll eat yours if you think it's ruined), but the point is to get as much as possible down the cracks.

12. Let the baklava sit uncovered (DO NOT REFRIGERATE) for a few hours. Inspect it and decide if it's juicy enough or if you'd like to use the rest of the sauce. I think I used half of what was left (so I used 7/8 of my sauce... love, the math teacher).

13. Never put your baklava in the fridge.

14. Use self control and don't eat the whole pan; it's tempting.

15. When you serve it, each piece is really pretty on its own. I didn't get a picture of a piece-- it went too fast.

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