Baklava Dessert Recipe

Baklava Desert in desert cups
Baklava is one of the most popular desserts in Middle Eastern countries, Greece and India.  This dessert is made with slight variations from country to country but the basics are the same. The light, crunchy texture of the crust and layers of nuts with the soft sweet syrup makes this dessert a popular choice for many. Serve with piping hot Indian or Middle Eastern tea.

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Baklava Dessert Ingredients (serves 18)

  • 1 (16 ounce) package filo ( or phyllo) dough
  • 1 (16 ounce or 1 bag) pound chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 9″x13″ tray or 10″x13″ tray (best)

Note: Filo dough is available in frozen sheets at local grocery store or specialty food store.

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Baklava Dessert Directions

Step 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (or 175 degrees C).  Grease the bottom and sides of pan with a stick of butter.

Grind nuts in food processor and mix in cinnamon and cardamom.

Baklava - grind the walnuts first and mix with spices
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Step 2. Take filo dough (or phyllo) out of the box.  Unroll the sheets so they lay flat.  Take one sheet, and fold in half.  No need to cut the dough in half , just fold over to fit the tray (this taken from a tip from a poster at allrecipes.com).  If you are using a 10″x13″ tray, the dough will fit perfectly in it and will cut down your assembly time considerably.

Bottom Layer. Place 1 sheet (=2 layers) of dough in the pan, brush with butter  Repeat until you have 4 sheets (=8 layers).

Middle Layers. Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of walnuts on top of the bottom 8 layers of filo dough.  Top with 1 sheet (=2 layers).  Continue altering every 1 sheet (=2 layers) with nuts until you reach the top.

Top Layer. The top layer should be about 4 sheets (=8 layers) of dough.  Brush with remaining butter on top.

Baklava - Roll out the filo dough
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Step 3. Make sure to brush between each sheet (=2 layers) with melted butter.

Baklava - Brush oil on each layer
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Step 4. Layer of chopped walnuts shown here.

Baklava - Layer with crushed walnuts
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Step 5. Use a sharp knife to cut squares into the layers.  Don’t cut all the way through to the bottom so that when syrup is poured over, it can spread through to the middle layers.  Cut to about 1″ from the bottom, leaving the bottom intact.  Bake in oven for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

Sugar Syrup. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted.  Add vanilla and honey.  Simmer for another 20 minutes.

Baklava - Pour sugar syrup over the baklava
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Step 6. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon syrup over it.  Let cool.  Now you can cut the layers all the way through to the bottom.  The delicious syrup would have soaked into the various layers by now. Serve in cupcake papers.  Best with piping hot Indian or Middle Eastern tea (plain, no cream or sugar).

Baklava - Serve each baklava in individual paper cups

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