Baklava! Omg it is by far the most delicious dessert. Whenever I make them, I try not to eat all by myself. Trust me, it’s very addictive. My idea from not going crazy with this mouth watery baklava is by giving away to friends. They absolutely enjoy it. My husband enjoys the whole baklava making process, he loves to keep track of the syrup. (He literally tastes every five mins to check for best consistency and taste). If you’re doing it for the first time do not do it by yourself, ask some ones help just to close the excess pastry sheets. In the below recipe I have use rose water, you can substitute it with vanilla extract or orange blossom. Remember to work fast with phyllo dough they tend to dry quickly.
1 ½ cup of chopped nuts (I used a mixture of pistachio and almond, toasted and unsalted)
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 Cardamom pods
1 cup water
½ cup honey
½ teaspoon of lime juice (Needed only if you use rose water)
2 tablespoons of rose water
1 pack of Phyllo dough
1 stick butter
12 X 9 inch baking pan
1 dish cloth (Clean one without any trace of detergent)
In a sauce pan mix sugar, water and honey. Let it simmer until the mixture comes to syrup consistency.
Add rose water to the mixture, taste it and add lime juice.
Taste it again, now you can see how much the syrup taste is amplified and refined after adding lemon juice.
Keep it aside and let it cool down.
In a bowl mix chopped nuts with ground cardamom pods. (Open the pods, remove the black seed. Powder it and add to the nuts)
Add ¼ cup sugar to the nut mixture and mix well.
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Melt butter in a bowl.
Cut the phyllo dough to 12 X 9 size. (Open dough, spread it, place pan over it and cut it in a bunch. Work fast before pastry dries off)
Butter the pan thoroughly. Damp the dish towel with water.
Lay the first sheet in the pan. Now quickly cover the excess sheet with the towel. Then butter the sheet that is in pan (Apply thin layer of butter).
Again lay another sheet, cover the excess sheet and butter the sheet in pan. Repeat the same step until you have laid 12 sheets.
Divide the nut mixture into two parts. Sprinkle the part of nut mixture evenly on the pan.
Now again continue laying 8 more sheets.
Sprinkle rest of the nut mixture. Again continue with 12 more sheets. Butter top layer too.
Dip a knife in hot water and start cutting the sheets to small square or diamond shapes all the way to the bottom of pan.
Pan it for about 30 mins or until golden.
Pour syrup when the pastry is hot.
Note: Pastry must be hot, syrup must be cold.
Let it stand at least couple of hours before serving. Serve in cupcake papers. I usually let it stand overnight.