Hi friends! To switch things up a bit, I've asked my dear friend Madaline to share with you her family's baklava recipe. And she did! I've had a lesson in making these before. They're easy to make, deeelicious, and pretty too, which is important when bringing homemade treats to a holiday party. So, enjoy!
Every Christmas my mom does something she doesn't do the rest of the entire year. She bakes. Her specialty is baklava. It is so good, people wait all year for it. It is even getting shipped to some big fans in San Diego. It's made a little differently than traditional Greek baklava, in that it's rolled and sliced instead of just layered. The result is perfect bite-size pieces, much more crisp and buttery than the traditional version. I have always helped my mom make it and I know how easy it is, but for this year's teacher Christmas party, I decided to give it a try on my own. Yes, I did still have to borrow my mom's awesome giant baking pan (that thing would never fit ANYWHERE in my kitchen, including the oven), but I am now confident that I can conquer baklava on my own, once a year.
The amount of ingredients will vary depending on how much you wanna make.
Box (or two) of Phyllo dough (the Athens brand is really good)
1lb salted sweet cream butter
2 1/2 cups sugar bunch of cinnamon
2 large bags of walnuts (or however much you need) (chopped)
Preheat your oven to 375
Put the chopped walnuts in a mixing bowl and add about 1/2 cup of sugar, and a bunch of cinnamon. The nuts should look nice and brown from the cinnamon (and taste really good).
melt the butter in the microwave, and lay out 2 sheets of phyllo.
with a pastry brush, spread butter all over the surface of the top sheet of phyllo. take a big handful of nuts and sprinkle all over the buttered phyllo.
take another 2 sheets of phyllo and layer it on top of the first. Repeat the process with the butter and nuts.
Make a total of 3 layers (6 sheets), then it's time to roll it up. Roll it pretty tight along the long end, and take the roll to a cutting board.
Slice the roll into pieces about an inch thick, and lay in a buttered baking pan. Repeat the process till all your ingredients are gone (or your pan is full!) dump the rest of the butter all over the baklava, and bake for 30-45 minutes, until golden and crispy.
Syrup: stir 2 cups sugar with 1 cup water in a small saucepan on med. heat. Add cinnamon sticks and a piece of lemon and stir till sugar dissolves, about 10 minutes.
When baklava is done baking, let cool a little, then pour the syrup all over the pan.
Let it cool completely, and you're Greek!!