Gotta Have It: Honey Walnut Baklava

July 26, 2012

Baklava is Eastern Mediterranean sweet that is absolutely delicious.  Phyllo (paper thin sheets of dough) is layered with butter and a mixture of chopped walnuts, spices and honey.  Once the dessert is baked, it is set aside to allow the sweet sticky honey to be soaked up by each layer of phyllo.  If you are not a fan of walnuts, they can be substituted with pistachios.  Baklava is a treat that is sure to be a hit.

Baklava

Ingredients:
 
1 package (16 ounce) walnuts (4 cups), finely chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 package (16 ounce) frozen phyllo, thawed
1 cup butter, melted
 
Directions:
 
In large bowl, with fork, mix finely chopped walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon; set aside.
 
Cut phyllo into 13" by 9" rectangles. In greased 13" by 9" baking dish, place 1 phyllo sheet; brush with melted butter. Repeat with phyllo and butter to make 5 more layers, overlapping any small strips of phyllo to make rectangles, if necessary.
 
Over phyllo in baking dish, sprinkle 1 cup walnut mixture.
 
Repeat steps 2 and 3 to make 3 more layers (4 layers total). Place remaining phyllo on top of last walnut layer; brush with butter.
 
With sharp knife, cut just halfway through layers in triangle or diamond pattern.
 
Bake in 300 degree oven for 1 hour and 25 minutes or until top is golden brown.
 
In small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat honey until hot but not boiling. Evenly spoon hot honey over hot baklava.
 
Cool Baklava in dish on wire rack at least 1 hour; cover with foil and let stand at room temperature until serving.
 
To serve, finish cutting, with a shap knife, through layers to make triangles or diamonds.
 
Note: on half of the Baklava, I added mini-chocolate chips with the walnut mixture.)

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