Week 2’s challenge is miniature. I’ll be honest, I’m not really a fan of this. If we’re talking about baking and desserts, who wants “tiny”? I decided to make Baklava, and just make the pieces really small. Then eat 5 of them. Repeat, until pan is empty.
The recipe calls for 1 pound of nuts. It does not specify what kind, I say choose what you like best. I used 3/4 almonds, 1/4 walnuts. My sister said she would’ve used pistachios. That sounds yummy too!
So let’s preheat the oven to 350.
Get a 9×13 pan and grab some phyllo dough. I see a lot of people say to cover the dough with a damp towel while working so it doesn’t dry out. I find that that makes the dough too wet and gummy, and very difficult to work with. Just unroll the dough and work FAST.
Melt 2 sticks of butter and get out a pastry brush. Chop the nuts up and add cinnamon & cloves.
Paint the bottom of the pan with a thin coat of butter. Begin by laying the first sheet of phyllo in the bottom of the pan, then pain the sheet with butter. Continue adding sheets one by one and coating with butter until you have about 8 buttery sheets down.
Sprinkle 2-3 spoonfuls of nut mixture over the phyllo. Then add 2 more sheets (butter between each), and sprinkle with more nuts. Continue layering in this manner until all the nuts are used. Then cover with 6-8 more buttery layers of phyllo.
Butter the top layer and then slice into squares, diamonds or triangles.
Then pop into the oven for 50 minutes, until golden brown on top. The smell of this baking is unbelievable.
While that’s in the oven, prepare the honey syrup. In a saucepan bring sugar and water to a boil until sugar has dissolved.
Lower heat, add honey and vanilla, and simmer for 20 minutes.
When the baklava is done baking, you want to pour the syrup over it right away. But you need to pour it slowly, don’t just dump in over the top!
Let the squares cool completely. Serve in mini cupcake wrappers, or just eat directly out of the pan!
If you have the time, make the syrup ahead of time, and allow it to cool completely. Make the Baklava and pour the cold syrup over the hot squares. It comes out delicious if you do not have time for this step, but try it and see which you like better! Make extra and freeze it!
- 1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
- 1 pound chopped nuts
- 1 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup honey