Lucky for us we get to have Sarah back to teach us how to make this GORGEOUS dessert! If you missed Sarah’s last post, you can get to know her here. Thanks Sarah, take it away!…
“I have a dirty little secret. I’m not really that great of a cook. Yet around my neighborhood my status as a culinary goddess is growing. So what’s the secret? How do I do it? I strategically place a carefully selected, carefully prepared food item with the right people and watch my fame increase. Baklava is just such a dish. It has the potential to make you famous. It seems so intimidating that your friends will say, “You MADE this?” Just wink, shrug, nod and be on your way and pretty soon word will spread.
Baklava is delicious, gorgeous, and exotic but with the difficulty level of sugar cookies despite its daunting reputation. So why not give it a try? Your culinary reputation will thank me.
Just a few simple ingredients. Look for the Phyllo dough in the freezer section near the pie crusts. No orange extract? Just throw in an orange peel.
Put that food processor to good use.
Brush each sheet with butter. This is the part that scares everyone. Just a couple sheets and you’ll get the hang of it.
Bake, then score, and bake some more. And by score I mean just poke holes. If you try to cut at this point you’ll get layers slipping everywhere. Wait for the syrup to cut all the way through.
Time for the syrup. Pour it all over the baked goodness.
Make your final cuts and let all those wonderful juices sink in.
* 4 cups mixed, unsalted nuts (I use 2 cups walnuts, 1 cup almonds, 1 cup pecans)
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 1 16 oz. package phyllo dough, thawed
* 1/2 cup butter, melted (I use salted)
For the syrup:
* 1 1/4 cups honey
* 1 1/4 cups water
* 1 1/4 cups sugar
* 1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon orange extract or a piece fresh orange peel
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the nuts, sugar and spices into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, but not pasty or powdery, approximately 15 quick pulses. Set aside.
Trim the sheets of phyllo to fit the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan. Brush the bottom and sides of the pan with butter; lay down a sheet of phyllo and brush with butter. Repeat this step 9 more times for a total of 10 sheets of phyllo. Top with 1/3 of the nut mixture and spread thinly. Layer 6 more sheets of phyllo with butter in between each of them, followed by another third of the nuts. Repeat with another 6 sheets of phyllo, butter and remaining nuts. Top with 8 sheets of phyllo brushing with butter in between each sheet. Brush the top generously with butter. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and score into 28 squares. Return pan to the oven and continue to bake for another 15 minutes. Remove pan from the oven, place on a cooling rack, and cool for 2 hours before adding the syrup.
Make the syrup during the last 30 minutes of cooling. Combine ingredients for the syrup in a large soup pot to prevent the syrup from over-boiling and set over high heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Once boiling, boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and discard the orange peel and cinnamon stick.
After the baklava has cooled for 2 hours pour the hot syrup evenly over the top of the baklava, allowing it to run into the cuts and around the edges of the pan. Make the final cuts following the same lines as before. Allow the pan to sit, uncovered until completely cool. Cover and store at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to overnight before serving. Store, covered, at room temperature for up to 5 days. Freeze squares individually for up to 2 months.”
A mother of 5 who holds a degree in English and run on sentences. She has a passion for photography, especially capturing life's sweet moments. She has a serious addiction to Oreos, coconut oil and sushi...not necessarily all at the same time. She is one of the 3 founders of HowDoesShe.com.
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