Anyways, baklava has been on our to-do list for 2 years now…or more. I’m not totally sure why we kept putting it off but most likely it was because we either couldn’t find the right recipe or they seemed like too many steps. Who knows?! But New Years seemed like as good a time as any to finally try it out, so we went for it.
It was actually easier than we thought. Layering the phyllo dough was kind of tedious, but it went by relatively fast, and it was simple. The hardest part was shelling all the pistachios. No joke…it took us an hour. At least! And Kara ended up with 2 gouged index fingers that needed band aids. If we were smart we would just buy shelled pistachios. :-/
The baklava turned out just as we had hoped. It was sooo good and I will definitely make it again. I especially liked it because it was completely different than our normal desserts. No chocolate. No frosting. And it stayed really well too. We made it on Saturday and took it to a family party two days later and it was still perfect. It took us a couple of years, but so glad we finally tried baklava. Success!
2 cups plus 8 tablespoons sugar, divided
2/3 cup honey
1 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks
3 cups pistachios, shelled and toasted
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
18 sheets phyllo dough, thawed (1 16-ounce package)
Simmer 2 cups sugar, honey, water and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil over medium heat until reduced to approximately 2 cups, about 15 minutes. Cool syrup.
Place nuts and 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor. Pulse until most of the nuts are finely ground. In a medium bowl, mix together the nuts, the remaining sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a 13×9-inch baking dish with melted butter. Place 1 phyllo sheet on the bottom of the dish and fold it over where the sheet is too long. Brush lightly with melted butter. Repeat 5 times with phyllo and melted butter. Sprinkle half of the pistachio mixture over phyllo and spread evenly.
Place 1 phyllo sheet over nuts; brush lightly with butter. Repeat 5 more times with phyllo sheets and melted butter, continuing to fold over phyllo where it is too long. Sprinkle remaining pistachio mixture over the second set of 6 phyllo sheets, spreading evenly.
Place 1 phyllo sheet on top of the nuts; brush with butter. Repeat 5 times with phyllo sheets and melted butter. You will use a total of 18 phyllo sheets, 3 sets of 6.
Using a sharp knife, cut 1 inch rows diagonally through top phyllo layer from top left corner to bottom right corner. Turn the dish and cut rows about 2 inches wide, forming a diamond pattern.
Bake until golden brown, 50 to 55 minutes. Drizzle the cooled syrup evenly over hot baklava. Cool. Recut baklava along lines all the way through layers.
Source: adapted from First Look, Then Cook