Baklava Love :: Hannah :: Culture Connoisseur

Friday, July 8, 2011

To finish up my guest posting I have a second  Baklava recipe from the blogger I would defiantly want to teach me the ways of international cooking and living. Hannah from Culture Connoisseur is an expert at all things international - browse her culture and travel posts for tips about food, safety, and travel etiquette when you are done marveling at her baklava skills.

I want to thank Julie so much for allowing me to share one of my favorite desserts with you today. Baklava has been around for ages and making it is an art of labor and love. I'm Hannah from Culture Connoisseur and I love taking the best recipes and cooking tips from my international friends and sharing them with you

The first time I ever made this I was hosting international students in my home for a movie night. I had many friends from the Middle East coming and I was nervous to hear their judgements. They loved the recipe and argued for a good thirty minutes over which of them could claim its history! My Turkish friend was confident that Turks owned its past. My Persian friend spoke loudly and emphatically that "Perrrrrsians" had developed the tasty treat. Before I knew it my house was an all out war zone of Saudis, Turks, Persians, and Libyans fighting for rights. See? Everyone wants a piece of this action!

Anyways, having had it tested and approved by "the real deal" I'm confident you'll love it.

I've adapted this recipe from DedeMed's Kitchen. (link- You will need the following ingredients:

2 cups water

2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup honey
1 (16 oz) pkg. phyllo dough
1 lb. chopped nuts (I use walnuts)
1 cup butter (melted)
1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon

To begin place the water and sugar in a medium saucepan over med-high heat until the sugar is melted. Add the vanilla and honey and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Then let cool on the stove top.

*While you are cooking the syrup set out the frozen phyllo dough to let it warm up enough for unrolling.

Next, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 13x9 pan. Place two sheets of phyllo dough in the bottom of the pan and brush on the melted butter lightly with a pastry brush. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. (Be sure to cover the unused dough with a damp cloth to keep it from drying out.) Working with the dough can be frustrating, but even if it tears and breaks it will still taste the same!

Sprinkle the 8 sheets with a small handfull of the chopped nuts that have been tossed with cinnamon. Top with two sheets of phyllo dough and brush with butter. Continue layering nuts, 2 sheets, butter leaving 6-8 sheets for the top layer as you did the very bottom (just layering 2 sheets with melted butter).

Once you've finished layering, cut the baklava into the shapes you desire before baking. I like to do the little triangles, but simple squares work fine to. Bake for 50 minutes, until golden and crisp.

Once the baklava is done baking, pour the syrup over each piece with a spoon while it is still hot. Even though it looks like too much syrup, be sure to use it all. It will make for a sweet, mouth-watering ethnic dessert! 

Let it cool, and be sure to lightly cover it with a cloth. Covering with plastic wrap or foil will make the baklava soggy.

Now, in honor of Julie's trip, play a little Greek or Turkish music and enjoy the fruits of your labor! :)


jillian :: cornflake dreams. said...

omg YESSSSS. love baklava. this recipe is great! xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

Robin @ our semi organic life said...

this looks so yummy! I've never made it myself but it looks delicious!

Haley{PairsandPours} said...

Looks amazing. Love baklava!

Brynn {chartreuse and a twist} said...

oh my! YUM!!! i have made baklava once in my life...not the easiest task in the world, but certainly very rewarding results :) you just inspired me to go at it again!

Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

:) Hehe, much as I love it, I also hate it. :) It's too sweet for me, even growing up eating it regularly. :( Though when I eat it I add cream or pour milk on top of it (and don't worry it's good, and not against mom does the same!!).
However, I never would make it myself. Too scared. ;)
Great post Hannah!!!

Donna @ Life of a Happy Blonde said...

Hannah - you are beyond amazing, i can't believe you can make baklava from scratch, i admit, i went to greece a couple of years ago and i didn't even try it, bad Donna :o)
Sweet blog Julie!

Tonia @ said...

Okay, first glimpse at the picture and my mouth started watering!! YUM!!! I have only made a cheater recipe for baklava never the real thing!

la petite coquine said...

Mmmmmm, baklava! I love how many dishes we Greeks claim that the whole of the Middle East does, too! Yummy no matter who invented them!

Drew {Coral Cafe} said...

Baklava is one of my favorite treats!! I could eat a whole batch if I could!!

Anonymous said...

baklava gets me in trouble. i could eat it for daysssss. great post hannah!

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Thanks for the lovely thoughts, I appreciate them all!