Thursday, November 17, 2011

Baklava Day: Highlights from this Morning's Show

Today is National Baklava Day, in honor of Baklava Day I thought I would share the recipe that I've used.  Baklava is so delicate and rich, my family usually only enjoys this around Christmas.  I know that there are a lot variations, but the recipe below is pretty easy to follow.  A friend of mine uses rose water in her recipe. If you have a favorite Baklava recipe, feel free to share it with me.  If you haven't made Baklava before, it's a lot of fun and I hope you give it a try.  If you've never used Phyllo Dough, the link below has tips you may find helpful.

BAKLAVA Recipe from Athens Foods
1 1/2 pounds walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Zest of 1 lemon
40 sheets Phyllo Dough (9" x 14"), thawed
Cooking Spray or Melted Butter
In a medium bowl, combine walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and lemon zest.

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cup honey
1 lemon peel
Bring all ingredients to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and cool slightly.

Lightly spray a 9" x 13" baking pan with cooking spray. Place 20 sheets of fillo on the bottom of the pan, lightly spraying each sheet with cooking spray as you place in the pan. Cover with 1/2 of the walnut mixture. Layer 5 more fillo sheets on top, lightly spraying each sheet. Spread the remaining half of the walnut mixture over the fillo and cover with another 15 lightly sprayed fillo sheets. With a sharp knife, score fillo into 1 1/2" diamonds or squares. Lightly spray the top with cooking spray so it bakes golden brown.

Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden brown.
Cool slightly and pour warm syrup (recipe below) evenly over baklava. Cool completely, cut and serve.
Yield: 30 to 40 small pieces

Additional Tips:
•Keep your Phyllo Dough covered while you are layering your Baklava
•Cover Phyllo completely with plastic wrap, then a damp towel as it dries out quickly.
•Use butter flavored cooking spray, if desired.
•Instead of cooking spray, brush fillo with 1 cup melted butter, if desired.
•Serve √† la mode with a scoop of ice cream, or drizzle with chocolate sauce.

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