Baklava


1 pkg. (16-ounces) phyllo dough (in the refrigerated or freezer section)
1 lb. chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
1 cup butter ( I ended up needing an additional stick)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

SYRUP:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey


Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9x13-inch pan. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan (my phyllo sheets were just the right size already, so I did not need to cut them). Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter each layer thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6-8 sheets deep. (In Summary: It will start off with 8 buttered sheets, nut mixture, then 2 buttered sheets, then nuts, repeated until nuts are gone and there are 6-8 sheets left for the top layer).

NOTE: It really helps if you have a helper during this part. I had my son doing the buttering, while I placed the fragile phyllo sheets, and my daughter sprinkled the nuts. It made it go much more smoothly that way.

Using a sharp knife cut into diamond of square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan.

Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp. While baklava is baking, make syrup. Boil sugar and water until sugar is dissolved. Add vanilla and honey and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon syrup over it.

Let cool. Serve in cupcake papers. Freezes well. Store uncovered (or it will get soggy). Enjoy!


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