Baklava

Holidays are fast approaching, baklava, a decadent Greek dessert is easy to make is an instant hit in any party. You can make two different types of baklava with different nuts filling and shape them differently. It is made by layering nut filling and butter on sheets of phyllo dough, roll the phyllo dough up, bake the baklava in the oven and pour a hot syrup on top as soon as it is removed from the oven.

    Ingredients:
  • 1 pk. phyllo dough;
  • 1 C. butter, room temperature;
  • Nut fillings;
  • Syrup.

    Making the nut fillings:
    Mix together: 1 lb. of finely chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds or pistachios or a mix of the three), 1/2 C. sugar, 1 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. ground cloves. If making two types of baklava, make the fillings separately.
    Making the syrup: Add 1 C. honey, 1 C. water, 1 T. fresh lemon juice. 2 cinnamon sticks, 5 cloves in a sauce pan, bring it to a boil and continue boiling for 10 minutes to thicken the syrup. Set aside.
    Making the Baklava: Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13 pan. Place 2-3 sheets of the phyllo dough on the bottom of the pan, brush the surface with butter, sprinkle nut mixture on top. Alternating with phyllo dough and nut mixture until done. Finish the top layerr with 3 extra sheets of phyllo dough, brush with butter. Lightly pat down the unbaked baklava, cut with a sharp knife into small 2" squares or other shapes. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until lightly brown. Pour the syrup on the hot baklava. Let cool. Place cut pieces of baklava into mini muffin liners for serving.
    Making the Baklava Rolls:
    Use different nut mixtures for different types of the baklava, here baklava are made into rolls with another nut mixture. To make rolled up Baklava pieces, spread out 2-3 sheets of phyllo dough, brush with butter, sprinkle with the nut mixture, place another sheet of phyllo dough on top, brush with butter. Using a piece of wooden dowel 1/2 inch in diameter, slowly roll up the prepared phyllo nut stack. Place the rolled up phyllo dough in a baking pan. Cut the roll into 3 in pieces. Repeat until all is done. Bake and top with syrup same way as above.
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