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"Crunchy Layers and Sweet Flavors: The Timeless Appeal of Traditional Baklava"

Updated: Mar 31


Description:

Baklava is a rich and indulgent dessert that originated in the Middle East and is enjoyed throughout the region with various regional variations. This recipe provides a traditional approach to making Baklava, featuring layers of crisp phyllo pastry filled with a sweet and nutty mixture, all soaked in a fragrant syrup. Follow these steps to create a decadent and aromatic treat that will delight your senses.



Ingredients:

For the Baklava:

- 1 pound (16 ounces) phyllo dough, thawed if frozen

- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted

- 3 cups mixed nuts (such as walnuts, pistachios, and almonds), finely chopped

- 1/2 cup granulated sugar

- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

For the Syrup:

- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

- 1 cup water

- 1/2 cup honey

- 1 cinnamon stick

- 3-4 whole cloves

- 1 tablespoon lemon juice

- 1 teaspoon rose water or orange blossom water (optional)

Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the chopped nuts, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and ground cloves. Mix well and set aside.

3. Unroll the phyllo dough and cover it with a clean, damp kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out.

4. Place one sheet of phyllo dough in the bottom of the prepared baking dish, allowing the edges to hang over the sides. Brush the sheet evenly with melted butter.

5. Repeat the process, layering additional sheets of phyllo dough and brushing each layer with butter, until you have used about half of the phyllo dough.

6. Sprinkle half of the nut mixture evenly over the layered phyllo dough.

7. Continue layering the remaining phyllo dough sheets on top of the nut mixture, brushing each layer with butter as before.

8. Sprinkle the remaining nut mixture evenly over the top layer of phyllo dough.

9. Use a sharp knife to cut the baklava into diamond or square-shaped pieces, making sure to cut all the way through to the bottom of the dish.

10. Bake the baklava in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.

11. While the baklava is baking, prepare the syrup. In a saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, water, honey, cinnamon stick, cloves, and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.

12. Once the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has thickened slightly, remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the rose water or orange blossom water, if using.

13. Once the baklava is done baking, remove it from the oven and immediately pour the hot syrup evenly over the top, making sure to cover all the pieces.

14. Allow the baklava to cool completely in the baking dish, allowing the syrup to soak into the layers and infuse the pastry with flavor.

15. Once cooled, carefully remove the individual pieces of baklava from the baking dish and serve on a platter or in decorative boxes. Enjoy the sweet and nutty goodness of this classic Middle Eastern dessert!

16. Store any leftover baklava in an airtight container at room temperature for up to several days. The flavors will continue to develop over time, making it even more delicious with each passing day.

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