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Prep 45 mins
Cook 1 hr
This is simpler than brownies because there's no measuring involved. OK, so I researched many different baklava recipes, tried them and this is the favorite I freehanded after that that turned out better. It seems all over the Middle east Levant area different peoples claim to have invented baklava, that their flavorings are "correct", some use cloves some not, some use sugar others honey, some use lemon some not. This is really a "no measure" recipe but I give msrmts for the first time until you do it once, and also to allow this to be posted in the site requires msrmts. We were given a quart of raw, unpasteurized honey by a local beekeeper so if you use it at room temperature as this recipe does it retains the live enzymes, vitamins etc. that make it a "superfood". : )
- 1 (16 ounce) packagefrozen phyllo dough
- 2 cups ground walnuts (rolled)
- 4 -8 tablespoons cinnamon (go to drug store or dollar store)
- 4 whole cloves or 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cardamom (cardamom is optional but it makes a noticeable flavor improvement) or 6 cardamom seeds (cardamom is optional but it makes a noticeable flavor improvement) or 1 cardamom pod (cardamom is optional but it makes a noticeable flavor improvement)
- 1 -2 cup honey (a honeybear will do)
- 1 cup butter (I have heard that half btr or mrgrn and half vgtbl oil works fine but I haven't tried it)
- Thaw phyllo dough inside sealed pkg on counter at least an hour (it can still be cold).
- Start preheating your oven to 300.
- Roll the walnuts, a couple handfuls at a time, inside a large freezer ziplock bag with a rolling pin. I can only get them as fine as about the size of pearl barley before I say "good enough" and it seems to work fine but one person say it should be finer (but they eat it up immediately so nobody's tastebuds are complaining).
- Place a 13x9 pan with 1 tbsp butter/margarine in the oven for a couple minutes to melt the butter, remove it back out. If there is any excess pour it into your saucepan.
- Melt your butter in a saucepan on low heat putting any whole spices (such as whole cardamom or whole cloves) in to release their flavor.
- Lay 6 layers or so of phyllo dough in pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 c rolled walnuts (should almost cover), 1-2 tbsp of cinnamon (should cover) and drizzle 1-2 tsbp melted butter and 1 tbsp of honey.
- Layer 4 layers of phyllo (I found I could use broken sheets in the middle layers as long as I used whole sheets for top and bottom and it was unnoticeable) and repeat. Aim for 4 layers of walnut. You will not use up the whole pkg of phyllo. Wrap tighly and refreeze.
- Top with the last layers of phyllo, cut with a sharp knife lengthwise to make 4 rows (don't cut all the way to the bottom) and then diagonally crossways every 1.5 inches or so (start by cutting a triagle shape at the top of each row, diagonals all the way down and end with a triangle again).
- Drizzle with 2 tbsp melted butter, bake 1 hr or until top is golden brown. Remove and let cool to room temp (few hours), then liberally drizzle honey into every crack,and around the edges. The cracks should be full to the top. And drizzle a little across the surface.
- Let sit until honey is absorbed (another hour or as long as you want) then cut with sharp knife ALL the way through to the bottom, layer in stacks on a plate, and serve.
- Cover like on a cakeplate or under a large bowl.