Ms. Mofet's Baklava

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Chef Extraordinaire
Apr 5, 2009
Ms. Mofet's Baklava

1 C. Pecans, Toasted (OR substitute some or all pecans with Trader Joe's Candied Pecans and reduce or omit the sugar) - and chopped/pulsed in a food processor
1 TBSP. Sugar
1 tsp. Ground cinnamon

1/2 lb. (half 16 oz. pkg) phyllo dough - 1 Sleeve
3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) butter – Melted (May need more)

1/2 C. water
1/2 C. white sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/4 C. honey
1 TBSP. Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp. Lemon Zest

Preheat oven to 350 °F.
Butter the bottom and sides of a 8X8 inch pan.
Chop nuts, toss with cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.
Hold unopened sleeve next to pan and cut through the sleeve slightly larger than pan.
Open and unroll sheets, cut the stack in half.
Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work.
Place a sheet of dough in pan, butter thoroughly.
Repeat until you have 10 sheets layered.
Spread half nut mixture on top.
Place a sheet of dough in pan, butter thoroughly.
Repeat until you have 10 sheets layered.
Spread with remaining nut mixture.
Repeat layering and buttering with remaining sheets of dough.
The top layer should be ≈ 10 sheets.
Pour any remaining butter on top.
Using a sharp knife cut into rows ≈ 1 inch apart then turn pan and make diagonal cuts. Cut all the way to the bottom of the pan.
Bake for about 40 - 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.

Make syrup while baklava is baking.
Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted.
Add vanilla, honey, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
Simmer for ≈ 20 minutes.

Remove baklava from oven and immediately pour sauce over it.
Let sit 4-6 hours or overnight at room temperature for the syrup to seep into the layers.

After baking before syrup


After adding syrup


Cut baklava

msmofet thanks for posting this recipe. I have a couple of observations. If you allow the paklava to cool completely before pouring the syrup on, the result may be a crispier dessert. Also, after the paklava rests for a couple of hours with the syrup added, I suggest tilting the pan so excess syrup drains to a corner where you can spoon it out. So the bottoms of the paklava pieces won't get soggy.
Thank you, Andy, for the tips.

There wasn't any excess syrup. It all got absorbed. I thought it would not be enough syrup and end in a dry, crumbly result. But it was just enough. What you see in the pan is the bottom sheet of dough that I didn't get the spatula under. Which was still pretty crispy when I removed it. It wasn't soggy at all and is still flaky, and crispy after 2 days.
I was browsing to get some ideas what to do for New Year's Eve and now my mouth is drooling. I absolutely love love baklava. I never tried to do them from scratch, making those thin paper sheets seems like a lot of work, but now I found what to do. This was a sign to get me some baklava. They look delicious and I know they are delicious.
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