Wednesday, November 21, 2007

11.21.07 : : Baklava - A Tutorial

I rarely cook. I even more rarely bake. But today, my mom and I joined forces to create our favorite dessert of all time...baklava. And if I can do it, anyone can.

So my POTD submission for today is a step-by-step tutorial for all of you ambitious bakers out there who love this treat but don't love the $4.99 pricetag per tiny square of this delicious greek treat at your local store. And if you have never experienced the flaky, nutty goodness that is baklava, I highly suggest trying it. Soon!

First, start by melting one stick of butter. Real butter works best.
Use some of the butter to grease a 10x13 pan.

Chop up about a pound of nuts. We used pecans and walnuts, but feel free to add anything..hazelnuts, almonds, etc (no peanuts. They're not really a nut anyway.)
Mix the nuts with a teaspoon of cinnamon and set aside.

Now, get out your fillo dough (can be found in the freezer section at your local grocery store).
Fillo dough is not the easiest to work with, but again, if I can do it, so can you. You will want to cover it with a damp towel while working with it so as not to dry it out.

Layer two layers of phillo dough in a 10x13 pan and then brush on some of the melted butter. Repeat this step until eight layers are on the bottom.
Then the fun begins. On layer 8, start sprinkling on the chopped nut and cinnamon mixture.
Layer on two more sheets of the dough on top and repeat this process. Kind of like you are building a lasagna.

When you are all out of layers and nut mixture, cut into squares or diamonds and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

While the goodness is baking, grab your honey, vanilla extract, sugar, water and an orange if you have one. Put a cup and a half of water, a cup and a half of sugar over medium heat until sugar disolves completely.

Once the sugar is disolved, add in 1 1/2 cups of honey and let simmer for 20 minutes.

If you have an orange, zest up a bit of the rind and add to the mixture.

It smells fabulous!

Now it's time to add our vanilla extract.

When the bakalva is done baking, pour mixture over the baklava and let sit until cooled.

Now, enjoy your tasty treat! See how easy that was?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Tami said...


Great photos,
Awesome instruction,
I can't wait to make this for my Mom - it's her favorite!

cocojames said...

That's too funny! I woke up craving Baklava this morning (since the last time I had it homemade was 5 years ago - AT Thanksgiving...) and I was wondering where I could find a good recipe:) Thanks! I might just brave the grocery store for this today!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Christina said...

Yummy!! Do you have Turkish or Greek ancestors? I used to work for a Greek bakery and they always had this on hand and I was always eating it! Thanks for the step by step pictures!

Anonymous said...

My mom and I also love this.. we will have to try to make some soon!!!


Amanda said...

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Did you get my email a little while back, I haven't heard from you....

Lisa said...

I have never tried it but the pictures are amazing. I will have to try it, if you can do it so can I. I think we like the kitchen to the same degree. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.

Lisa said...

how much vanilla

Amy Carroll said...

Oops...sorry! You need 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla.

And for any of you wondering where yesterday's POTD's coming! I have a turkey hangover and woke up early to shop today. So stay tuned :)