Monday, December 14, 2009

How to Make Baklava

Yes, you can make Baklava!

Flaky, nutty, sweet, and sticky…..I’m still talking about baklava…not some Hollywood celebrity. Or myself, though I can tend to be a little nutty sometimes.

Baklava is easy. “EASY!?” You say. “Yes, easy,” I say. Much easier than you think. It’s just a little time consuming.

I again owe this wonderful recipe to my mom! Thanks mom! She shared the recipe with me and gave all us girls a hands-on demonstration of how to make Baklava.

The recipe she gave us is from (Good Housekeeping?) March 1983. Oh, the yummy, buttery, sweet goodness. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

4 cups walnuts
½ cup sugar
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon (I use 2!)
1 pound or box of fillo (phyllo) dough
1 cup butter or margarine (2 sticks), melted
12 ounces of honey or 1-½ cups

Step 1: Roast the walnuts. Put them on a cookie sheet or pan with sides, bake at 300 for 15 minutes. Cool, and then chop in food processor or blender in small batches.

Step 2: Put the kids to bed, occupy the spouse with a “honey-do”, make yourself a cup of tea or your preferred beverage, turn on some Christmas music or turn on “Rudolph,” and get ready to make some baklava.

Step 3: Line a 9x13 inch-baking dish with foil, leaving excess over the sides to use as a handle. Grease the baking dish/foil.

Step 4: In a large bowl with spoon, mix chopped walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon until blended.

Step 5: Open phyllo dough. Keep dough under a moist, clean kitchen towel to prevent drying as you work with it.

Step 6: Place one sheet of phyllo in baking dish, brush with some butter. Don’t be stingy on the butter, but don’t use too much. Cover the entire piece of phyllo.

Step 7: Repeat with 5 more layers of phyllo. Cover each layer with butter. You’ll have 6 layers when you’re done.

Step 8: Sprinkle with ¼ of the walnut mixture.

Step 9: Repeat step 6. The first phyllo layer on top of the walnut mixture is a little more difficult. Use buttered fingers to help hold the phyllo down while you brush it with butter. Repeat steps 7 & 8. Repeat layering 2 more times.

Step 10: You should now have your last walnut mixture down. Hooray. You should also have quite a few layers of phyllo left and a little butter. Place all of the remaining phyllo on top of last walnut layer; brush just the top piece with butter.

Step 11: With a sharp knife, cut just halfway through layers in a triangle patter to make 48 servings/triangles. This is the most frustrating part for me. I’ve discovered you need to use well buttered fingers and butter the knife tip at times to keep the phyllo from sticking, pulling up, and wrinkling. If it does pull up, it doesn’t matter. You’ll still eat it. (If you can't figure out the 48 triangles, look at the next picture.  It's 6 rows on the 13-inch side, 4 rows on the 9-inch side, and then cut diagonally on those squares to get triangles.)

Step 12: Bake in 300 degree oven for 1 hour and 25 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Step 13: Just before baklava comes out of the oven or right after, heat honey in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until hot, but not boiling.

Step 14: Spoon hot honey over baklava. Cool in pan on wire rack at least 1 hour, then cover and leave at room temp until serving. (I also put mine in the refrigerator after a day, it keeps well. You can even freeze it.)

Step 15: Use foil handles to get baklava out of pan. With sharp knife, finish cutting through layers.

Serve and enjoy!
Don't forget to get the help of some trusted taste-testers!

Go ahead, try and make baklava. Be a little nutty!  You won't regret it.  You'll impress everyone at your next Christmas gathering.  Wrap some up pretty and bring it to the next door neighbor.  Drop some off somewhere! Just eat it!

Do you have any recipes that never fail to impress?  Any good recipes that your mom passed on to you.  Enjoy!  I'm linking this to DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.  I'm also linking it to Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays at Blessed with Grace.  Oh, you gotta love all these wonderful blogs that share crafty and mouth-watering temptations. 

And yes, I let the kids taste-test the baklava at breakfast!


  1. Even though baklava is one of my favorite treats, I've never attempted to make it before. I'm excited to give your recipe a try! Thanks!

  2. OH wonderful!! I am so glad to have a "how to" step by step instructions for baklava! I love it and would have never tried to make it on my own. Thanks for going through the effort to put it on your blog. Also, thanks for linking to TMTT.

  3. Hello,nice post thanks for sharing?. I just joined and I am going to catch up by reading for a while. I hope I can join in soon.

  4. I would like to freeze baklava,can I freeze it in a covered container? Thank you for taking the time to write this recipe.
    Thanks again,Mary

  5. Hi Mary, Thanks for stopping by. Yes, you can freeze the baklava. I haven't done it (since we tend to eat it too fast), but my mom has. I've even had some of her frozen baklava and it tastes just the same. I would freeze it in a tight covered container or wrap it really well in waxed paper and put in freezer bags. I think my mom uses covered containers. Then she just puts it in the refrigerator to thaw and keep. Hope that helps! Enjoy!


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