Baklava

Isn’t she just the cutest?  And the baklava is just delicious.

I read The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber with everyone over at Tea and Cookies.  There was some great conversation about the book.  And I really enjoyed reading it.

The book is a memoir about a girl growing up in the United States whose mom is from the US and whose dad is from Jordan.  It is about her experiences of both cultures and how sometimes that makes her life exciting and interesting and sometimes that makes her life hard and confusing.  And she has recipes scattered all over this book!!

I definitely recommend this book!  If you read it let me know what you think!!

The baklava was easier to make than I anticipated.  Really the only time consuming part is the construction.  Other than that it is super easy.  It is also rather delicious!!  I am so glad I tried this.  I will make this again, and next time I want to try the orange blossom water instead of the rose blossom water.

These are all wonderful photos of the process.  Like how Pippi manages to get into almost all the photos?  Silly cat!!

Baklava

This recipe is slightly adapted from The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound walnuts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 box phyllo dough, defrosted over night
  • 1 pound butter, clarified (melted and with the top layer skimmed off)

Syrup

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water or rose blossom water

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, boil all the syrup ingredients until the mixture turns clear.  Cover the syrup and set aside in the refrigerator to cool.

2. In the chopping component of an immersion blender, grind together the walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon to a fine, sandy consistency.  Set aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

4. Carefully unfold the phyllo dough, making sure not to crack or tear it.  Keep it covered with a piece of waxed paper to help prevent it from drying out.

5. Butter the bottom of a shallow baking pan.  Carefully unpeel the first sheet of phyllo and lay it flat and smooth in the bottom of the pan.  Brush with the clarified butter.  Continue layering sheets of phyllo dough and brushing each sheet with butter until you’ve used half the dough.

6. Spread the nut and sugar mixture over the dough.

7. Continue layering and butting the phyllo dough onto of the nut and sugar mixture.

8.  With a sharp knife cut the baklava into squares or diamonds.

9. Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown.  Pour the cooled syrup over the hot baklava.  Enjoy!

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