Thursday, June 9, 2016

Traditional Baklava

Baklava always seemed like some elusive dessert that you had to be full authentic Greek to understand or be able to make successfully. I was recently asked to be a part of an outstanding styled wedding photo shoot, that was coincidentally Santorini-themed. Think of the most beautiful blue hues with pops of fuchsia, replicating vines filled with bougainvillea and fresh fruit as far as the eye can see. I thought to myself, this is my chance to show that a Costa-Rican self-taught home cook can make something with years of tradition and love behind it. I could not have been happier with the end result. Both photogenic and delicious to boot! Plus I have some incredible professional photos to swoon over and share with you all! Thanks to all of the vendors who let me be a part of something so unique and special!

Traditional Baklava


  • 24 sheets phyllo dough
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 oz. chopped pistachios
  • 6 oz. chopped walnuts
  • 6 oz. hazelnuts
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  •  1/4 tsp. ground cloves
Honey Syrup:
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice

Heat the sugar, honey, and lemon juice over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove form the heat and allow to cool completely.

In a large bowl, mix together the nuts, cinnamon, sugar, and cloves. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Spray a 12x9-inch baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and press the first layer of phyllo dough down firmly. Brush with melted butter and layer the next sheet of phyllo. Repeat until you have 8 layers of phyllo. Spread 1/2 of the nut mixture then repeat with another 7 layers of phyllo dough and butter. 

Top with the remaining half of the buts and then another 8 layers of phyllo dough and butter. Use a sharp knife to cut 6 lengthwise cuts, just through the top layer of phyllo dough. Cut another row of diagonal cuts to make diamond shapes. 

Bake for 20 minuted then lower heat to 300 degrees F and bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the heat and carefully cut all the way through your markings that you made before you baked it.

Pour the cooled honey syrup over the hot baklava and allow it soak and cool completely. Cover and store covered for up to a week.

See the entire shoot here and the amazing vendors who helped pull it all together!

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