I'm not sure when it happened but David's co-workers have begun asking when the next round of sweets will be heading their way...and some even request particular goodies. I never mind. In fact, I get really excited when someone asks for something special. It gives me a reason to bake without the guilt.
That's what happened this week. George the Greek (there are two George's at the dealership so this has become our little descriptor) asked if I could make Baklava. Why certainly Georgie old boy! I'd never made it before but was pumped to give it a shot.
I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com
Yield: Approx. 24 servings
Prep-Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 45-50 min.
- 1 (16oz) package phyllo dough (mine had 2 individually wrapped, 9x14in. sheet sets) You can also make your own dough...I usually prefer to do this...but I'd never attempted phyllo dough and knew it was super delicate and challenging so I used the pre-made stuff instead.
- 2.5 cups chopped walnuts (you can also used mixed nuts of your choice, pistachios are also popular)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- a dash of ground cloves
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup raw sugar (white also works fine)
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 1 tsp Mexican vanilla
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13 metal pan.
- Thaw/prepare dough according to package directions (I only used half of the package). *Note: it's very important the dough doesn't dry out. Do not skip this step.*
- Toss nuts with cinnamon and cloves, set aside. Place 2-3 dough sheets in pan, brush with butter. Continue until dough is 6-8 layers thick. Sprinkle 3-4Tbsp of nut mixture on top. Layer with 2 sheets of dough and then butter. Repeat, alternating the layers until you are out of nuts. Make sure to keep 6-8 dough layers for top.
- Brush top layer with melted butter *I forgot this step*. Using a VERY sharp knife, carefully cut rectangle or diamond shapes, making sure to get all the way to the bottom of the pan. *This step is tricky so be careful* Place in oven for 45-50 minutes or until nicely crisp and golden.
- While the baklava is still baking (with about 30 minutes left in bake time) combine water and sugar on stove top. Boil until sugar is dissolved. Add honey and vanilla, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (it should be fairly watery and still have some foam...that's ok.)
- When baklava is done, immediately remove from oven and pour hot sauce evenly over the top. Let cool completely. Do not cover or it will get soggy during this process.
I cut my pieces small enough to place into cupcake wrappers. This helps in transportation (since these were going to work w/ David) and ease in eating since it's rather gooey and sticky.
Look at all that goodness.
David and I had a sample.
Ok, so we had 2 samples.
Have you tried any new recipes lately? How did they turn out?