THE BEST CHRISTMAS BAKLAVA

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This Christmas Baklava at its core is a strong sweet dessert. Done well, one to two bites will satiate you in one sitting, kind of like the area coffee.

It’s truly delicious and worth every minute it takes to create. Made of layer upon layer of buttered phyllo filled with chopped nuts and dried fruit, served together with a special syrup that changes the texture of this pastry from flaky and crisp, to tender and soft!

There’s baklava…and then there’s baklava you make yourself. A yummy treat, and a great little Christmas goodie!

Well, OK, not really fat. But Big. And Greek. And Baklava!This stuff is amazing. Really.

It’s a little time consuming if you don’t have a food processor. Which I didn’t when I first started making it.But oh, so worth it.

And today I just happened to be home all alone so I decided to go play in the kitchen.

I love being home all alone.I can crank up my music as loud as I want and don’t have to see anyone stomp into the kitchen, roll their eyes at me and say, “Mo-ther! Turn your music down! You’re not the only one who lives here ya know!” Not that that has anything to do with Greece. Or Baklava. It just makes me giggle. But back to the Baklava.The history of this amazingly crispy, gooey, and sweet dessert is a little unclear.

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 pound chopped pecans
1/2 pound chopped walnuts
2-3 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 pound package of Phyllo dough
1-1/2 cups butter, melted
2-1/2 cups honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
CHRISTMAS BAKLAVA INSTRUCTIONS:
1 ) Mix nuts together in a large bowl and toss with the ground cinnamon. Set aside.

2 ) Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Place 2 sheets of phyllo in the bottom of prepared dish. Brush generously with melted butter.

3 ) Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Repeat layers until all the nuts, butter, and phyllo are used.

4 ) End with about 6 layers of phyllo on the top. If you still have some butter left, brush it over the top layer.

5 ) Using a very sharp knife, cut through all layers of the baklava. Cut 3-4 sliced length-wise.

6 ) Then make diagonal cuts to make diamond shapes.

7 ) Bake in a heated 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes, until golden and crisp.

8 ) While baklava is baking, heat honey in a saucepan until close to boiling. Stir in vanilla and lemon zest.

9 ) When baklava is done baking, immediately pour the honey mixture over the top.

10 ) Let cool completely in the pan.

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