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Baklava

Baklava, a nuts filled Sweet made of phyllo pastry sheets sweetened with sugar-honey/agave syrup. Baklava is a popular Turkish dessert, made world-wide in different versions.

This is the same type of Baklava I had it in Oman when I lived there for few years. It’s sticky because of the syrup that’s poured on top and gooey and nutty in the center. You can see the layers of Phyllo sheets after every bite.

 

I Should say.. it is on the tedious side of making a sweet but totally worth it when you or your family and friends enjoy every bite of it!

Source: Allrecipes.com   Recipe: Neonwillie   Makes: 16 squares

Ingredients you will need:

1 (16 oz) pack Phyllo Pastry sheets
1 cup Butter (for greasing the pan & applying between the sheets and brushing on top)
2 tbsp Walnuts
2 tbsp Pecans
2 tbsp Pistachios
2 tbsp Almonds
1/2 – 3/4 tsp Cinnamon (adjust as per preference)
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 Water
4 Tbsp Honey/Agave nectar*
1 tsp Vanilla extract

*Agave nectar is  often substituted for sugar or honey. Commonly used as a vegan alternative to honey for those who choose to exclude animal products from their diets. (Thank you Wikipedia! You have all the wonderful facts! Readers, If interested to know more, please read: “Agave nectar”,someone has already drafted it so well)

To make the Baklava’s:

 

Using a food processor/coffee-spice grinder, chop the nuts of your choice. You can do this by hand if you don’t have one of the earlier mentioned gadgets and also, you can omit the pecans and almonds. Walnuts and pistachios are kind of must. But don’t restrain yourself from making this if you don’t have walnuts or pistachios, they are delicious with any nuts!

Toss the chopped nuts with cinnamon powder or add cinnamon to chopped nuts and pulse once in food processor.

The Phyllo sheets are stored frozen but the day before I made Baklava, instead of freezing them I refrigerated it. Next day  left it on the kitchen counter for approx 30 minutes before working with them. Another key step to keep in mind is to cover the phyllo sheets with damp (not dripping) kitchen towel to prevent them from drying. Cover after you take a sheet every time, they dry out quick as its very thin.

Melt the butter (microwave or on stove)

In a 9×9 inch pan, grease the bottom and sides of the pan. Place two sheets and butter thoroughly. Repeat the same process till 8 or 10 sheets are layered.

Sprinkle an even layer of chopped mixed nuts with cinnamon. Place two sheets continue the butter, nuts process (I did a third layer too) and layer the top with 10 sheets applying butter after 2 or 3  phyllo sheets!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position racks in such a way you place baklava in the center of the oven. There are chances of having a top layer burnt baklava.

Using a sharp knife, cut the baklava all the way to the bottom in squares, rectangle or diamond shape. I read a simple yet great tip: to dip the knife in water a few times while cutting. This prevents the moist phyllo sheets or nuts sticking to the knife.

Bake for 40 minutes. Check every few minutes in the last 10 minutes time as every oven is different. If the baklava doesn’t have a golden brown color, keep for few extra minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.

For the sauce:

Add sugar and water to a saucepan. Bring to boil and as the sugar is dissolved all the way, add honey/ agave nectar, vanilla extract and mix well.

Stirring occasionally, simmer for 20-25 minutes until the sauce is little thick. You don’t have to reduced it down by boiling.

Once the Baklava is baked, spoon the sauce over the baklava. I poured the sauce as soon as it came out of the oven. But many recipes mentioned about cooling the baklava first and then pouring it. There were also reviews that it really didn’t make much of a difference in taste and texture! So I concluded I will drape the sauce as soon as it comes out of oven.

Let it sit on the kitchen counter for at least an hour uncovered. The Baklava becomes all soggy and mushy if covered, it seems  I didn’t dare to try, Why would I when they came out fantastically!

Arrange and serve them in individual mini- cupcake liners if you are hosting a party or taking it for a potluck, they are sure to impress everyone around and You.. will feel like a proud baker in the crowd!

 

Happy Cooking

2 Responses to Baklava

  1. you cut before baking? (sorry for all the Qs)

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