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Gretchen's Baklava


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  • 1 lb walnuts finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 sticks butter
  • 1 package phyllo dough 16 oz
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


Adapted from


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Combine and set aside walnuts, 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon
Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the bottom and sides of a 10x14" (about 1-2" deep) pan with melted butter.
Open the phyllo dough and layer 6 whole leafs (or 12 half leafs) in the pan, buttering each layer as you go. (The edges will extend over the side.)
Spread 1 cup of the walnut mixture.
If your phyllo dough comes in full sheets, cut the remaining phyllo dough in half.
Layer 8 half sheets -- butter each layer. Each sheet will be an inch or so short, so stagger the sheets from corner to corner to cover the whole pan. I use a pattern so I don't forget how many layers I've put down, but it's even easier if you have a friend help!
Spread 1 cup of the walnut mixture.
Repeat 8 sheets and walnut mixture twice. You will end up with 4 layers of nuts.
Layer the remaining half sheets on top -- butter each layer.
Brush the top with the remaining butter.
Trim the edges off.
Cut halfway through the layers using the (new and improved right-hand or left-handers) diagram to the right. See my baklava FAQ page for more tips on cutting. (Note: Do NOT cut from corner to corner.) This is done now since it will be very fragile after it's been baked.

Bake 1 hour or until golden brown.
15 minutes before the baklava should be done, mix 1 cup sugar, water, and lemon juice in a sauce pan.
Cook sauce over a medium heat, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, add the honey and vanilla, and stir until well blended.
Remove the baklava from the oven and finish cutting through the layers.
Pour the sauce over the hot baklava.
Cool. Let it sit for at least 24 hours (lightly covered -- but not in the refrigerator) -- longer if you can stand it!
A nice way to serve individual pieces is to put each one into a muffin cup that has been partially flattened.


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