Homemade Baklava

As I sit here typing this, my husband is struggling outside in the weather trying to keep up with the snow.  We had thought it wouldn’t start until late this afternoon, but were surprised to wake up to serious ground cover and snow that was reminiscent of cotton balls falling from the sky. So this afternoon, we staying in, cuddling up and watching Christmas movies.  I’m so glad that the baklava baking was done yesterday while the weather was perfectly clear.  Although, had I gotten stranded coming home from the house we were at, I would have had something wonderful to munch on!
1 (16 oz) package phyllo dough
1 lb chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or pistachios)
1 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. water
1 c. white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. honey




Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9×13 inch pan or a baking sheet with deep sides.  Chop nuts finely (I used a food processor) and toss with cinnamon. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place 7-8 sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Sprinkle nut mixture on top. Top with another stack of 7-8 sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 – 8 sheets deep and buttered generously.  Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.
While the baklava is baking, make the sauce. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 10 minutes.  Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. Serve in cupcake papers. This freezes well. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.

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