For dessert, I'm turning to Greece. What's on the menu? Baklava! The Greek favorite consists of layers of flaky phyllo dough with chopped nuts and honey. I'll also pick up a couple bars of Toblerone chocolate for guests who have a super sweet tooth. It's from another competing country, Switzerland! To get the simple baklava recipe, keep reading
3 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 pound package phyllo sheets, thawed
1 1/2 cups butter, melted
2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup honey
1/4 lemon, peel only
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Mix together the walnuts, sugar, and spices and set aside.
- As you work, keep the sheets of phyllo covered with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. Place 1 sheet of phyllo on the bottom of a jelly roll pan (12-inch x16-inch). Brush the dough lightly with melted butter. Repeat this process until there are 8 sheets of phyllo in the pan.
- Sprinkle one-third of the nut mixture onto the phyllo sheets. Place 4 more sheets of phyllo on top of the nuts, brushing melted butter between each sheet. Place another one-third of the nut mixture on the dough.
- Layer the remaining sheets of phyllo on top of the nuts, brushing melted butter in between each sheet. Brush the top sheet with butter as well.
- Trim the edges so that they do not stand above the level of the dough.
- Cut the pastry into 2-inch squares, making sure not to slice through the bottom layer of phyllo dough. Leaving the bottom layer uncut will allow the syrup to soak in more efficiently.
- Bake at 375°F for 25–30 minutes or until the top layer of the phyllo takes on a light golden brown color.
- While the dough bakes prepare the syrup. Combine all of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Remove the clove and lemon peel.
- Remove the pan from the oven and immediately pour hot syrup over the baklava.
- Before serving allow the baklava to stand at room temperature until cooled. Slice through the bottom layer of phyllo dough and serve.
Makes 48 (2-inch x 2-inch) pieces.
- Desserts, Pastries