If you’ve never heard of Baklawa, it is a distinctively delicious Middle Eastern pastry. People of Greek descent call this same desert Baklava. Either way you pronounce it, it’s amazing! It’s labor intensive to build a really good baklawa, but it’s a labor of love – so worth it! Happily, the recipe makes a lot of servings!Start by chopping the pecans (or the nut of your choosing!) fairly fine. Add cinnamon to the chopped nuts and stir until well combined.
Start by completely thawing the filo. Make sure to keep it in it’s package while thawing. If the filo isn’t thawed enough, the super thin sheets easily start falling apart and although I love patchwork, not when it comes to this stuff! ;-) While working with these thin sheets of pastry, keep them covered with a damp cloth so that they don’t dry out which also makes them super crumbly and will make your job 10 times harder. I lay down my first layer of filo, paint it with butter and continue until I have about 6 layers down as my base.
Each time I lay down a layer of filo sheet, I paint all of the edges with butter so that it doesn’t move around while painting the middle. To build the dessert, alternate 2 buttered layers of filo dough with a layer of approximately 4 tablespoons of nuts.
Keep this process going until you either get tired of doing it (which is what usually happens to me!) OR until the the pan as been layered to about 1.5 inches high. At that point you will want to lay down another 6 buttered layers of filo and lightly sprinkle the top with nuts.
Very gently slice the pastry into diamond shapes. Pop in the 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until golden brown. While baking, add all ingredients for the sauce into a pan and bring the sauce to a slight simmer. Allow to lightly simmer for approximately 15 minutes.
Once out of the oven and while still hot, spoon the honey sauce all over the baked pastry. Allow to sit until cool enough to handle and transfer each diamond into a cupcake wrapper. Do not cover as covering them will make them soggy.
- 1 pound package of filo dough
- 1 pound pecans (or nut of your choice)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup of butter
- for sauce:
- ¾ cup rose water
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ½ cup honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Chop nuts finely.
- Add cinnamon to nuts and stir until well combined.
- Melt butter and using a pastry brush, lightly grease inside of baking dish.
- Thaw filo dough and place 1 sheet into the baking dish and paint it with butter. Continue this process until you have approximately 6 sheets of filo in the pan - this will work as your base.
- Sprinkle approximately 4 tablespoons of nut mixture onto your filo layer.
- Repeat this process - for every 2 filo sheet layers, sprinkle with a nut layer.
- Once you've worked up to about 1.5", place 6 more buttered sheets of filo for the top layer.
- Lightly sprinkle with nuts.
- Cut into small diamond shapes about 1.5" wide
- Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until golden browned.
- For Sauce:
- Add all ingredients to sauce pan and bring to a light simmer.
- Continue simmering for approximately 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Immediately after removing the pastry from the oven, lightly spoon approximately 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey sauce over each piece of pastry.
- Once cool enough to handle, remove each diamond pastry and place in a cupcake wrapper.
- Do not cover.