Jordan requested baklava for his birthday “cake” this year. I’m pretty sure he requested baklava last year too, but I was so busy with school I never made him any. Guess I’m not going to win any wife-of-the-year awards, huh? This year, however, I had an awesome schedule on his birthday, and I was happy to spend a couple hours in the kitchen making baklava =).

Jordan LOVES baklava. I mean really, really loves it – as in, let me eat an entire 9×13 pan by myself loves it ;). I like it too, but a little goes a long way for me. Baklava is very sweet – and I have a serious sweet tooth! A few years ago, Jordan and I were lucky enough to spend some time in Greece and this recipe is just as good as the baklava we had while there! Enjoy!

For the Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup honey
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Pastry:
1/2 pound pecans, toasted
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 (16-ounce) package phyllo dough, thawed
1 1/2 cups butter

1. First, make the baklava syrup. Combine the water, sugar, honey, and cinnamon in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Place the pecans, cinnamon and cloves in a food processor and process until the pecans are finely ground.
4. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over very low heat, keeping it warm throughout the process so it doesn’t start to solidify.
5. Brush a 9×13-inch pan with melted butter and place one layer of phyllo at the bottom. Brush the phyllo with the melted butter, and then add another layer of phyllo, and brush with more butter. Continue this process until you have layered 7 sheets of phyllo.
6. Gently spread one-quarter of the nut mixture evenly over the top of the phyllo. Repeat the process of layering phyllo sheets and brushing with melted butter, but this time use only 5 sheets of phyllo. Gently spread another one-quarter of the nut mixture over the top of the phyllo. Repeat this twice more, layering and buttering 5 sheets of phyllo and topping with one-quarter of the nut mixture. Finish off with 7 layers of buttered phyllo. Brush the top sheet with melted butter, as well.
7. Using a sharp knife, trim any ragged pieces of phyllo dough that has crept up the sides of the pan. Cut the baklava into 12 even squares, and then cut into triangles (you should have 24 triangles). Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes, or until golden brown.
8. As soon as the baklava comes out of the oven, slowly pour syrup over the hot baklava, making sure to get it into all of the cracks and crevices, as well as on the top surface. Allow the baklava to sit for at least 4 hours before serving so the syrup has a chance to soak in. Leftover baklava can be stored at room temperature, covered with foil.
*adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

1. Prep time is about an hour – have patience =).
2. I used a 16 oz package of phyllo dough but ended up have more sheets per layer than the recipe stated. I just layered until all the sheets were gone. I’m not sure if this was the brand I used or not so if it looks like you’re going to have sheets left over just add a couple extras to each layer.

Categories: Brownies and Bars, Candy

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