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Monday, June 13, 2011

Homemade Baklava

They say Filipinos have a sweet tooth...but who doesn't? I guess a lot of people whether Filipinos or not are born with it! I, for one, am a big fan of sweets (though hard candies are excluded)! I like chocolates, cakes, cookies and all sorts of pastries. But I don't like them too sweet. I always look for something with just the right amount of sweetness in it. 

When I first had Baklava years back at a friend's party, I liked it instantly. It was so new to me, and the crisp and the nuts in it made me kinda addicted to it. It's good that we can always get it from Costco. But it's way too sweet, that after a few times, we don't buy it that frequent anymore. Thinking that it's something complicated to make, I never dare to try it. I was so glad when I found a Baklava recipe from another blogger whose recipes I trust to be always good. I'm referring to Sandra of Sandra's Easy Cooking! I found her blog not so long ago...but within that short span of time, I came to admire her and the recipes she shares through her blog. When I saw her Homemade Sweet Baklava recipe, I realized that making homemade Baklava is pretty easy. 

I got the chance to try it last Wednesday. It came out really good though kinda too sweet for my family's taste buds, and a little soggy. Last Saturday, there was this potluck dinner party that we had to go to...and I thought of making Baklava again. But I used less sugar, just 1/8 cup for the nuts...and instead of adding ¼ cup sugar in the syrup, I didn't...I reduced the water to ½ cup and just let the honey work on the sweetness. It came out just perfect with just the right crisp and sweetness!

For the potluck party, I put each slice of Baklava in a cupcake liner for easy serving! It was a hit! Thanks so much to Sandra...I wouldn't have known how easy it is to make Baklava if not for her! For her original recipe, click here. Be sure to check her other recipes too...I tell you, they are all mouthwatering!

I'm sharing this on Savory SundaySweet Indulgences Sunday, Yummy Sunday, Mangia Mondays, Mouthwatering Mondays, Hearth and Soul Hop Hub, Temp My Tummy Tuesdays, Tuesdays At The Table, Delectables Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, These Chicks Cook and Cast Party Wednesday.
  • 1 package phyllo dough
  • 1 Lb chopped mixed nuts
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Chocolate syrup for topping (optional)

1. Make the syrup before you start working on the baklava. It will give enough time for the sauce to cool down. Bring water to a boil. Add honey, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the syrup becomes thicker. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13 inch pan.

3. Mix nuts and sugar together. Set aside.

4. Unroll phyllo dough and trim the whole stack to fit the pan.

5. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place 5 sheets of dough in the bottom of the pan and butter generously. 

6. Sprinkle 3 Tbps of nut mixture on top.

7. Put 9 more sheets and in between, butter it just a little and sprinkle with 3 Tbsp of nuts.
8. Top with 8 sheets of phyllo brushing with butter in between 2 sheets. Brush the top generously with butter.

9. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond, square or triangle shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan.
10. Bake for about 40 minutes or until baklava is golden and crisp.

11.Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon cold syrup over it.

12. Let cool. Put in cupcake liners or just serve in a platter.