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Sunday, January 02, 2005

TMAS Birthday Party: Mrs. Ziyal's Baklava

Kamran's mom got this amazing baklava recipe from my beloved neighbor Bernice (known to my little one as "Grandma 'Niece").
In the 10 years I have known her, Bernice has baked hundreds (maybe thousands) of pounds of melt-in-your-mouth baklava for the annual Greek Festival at St. Demitrios Church - a much-anticipated event in the Seattle cannon!

(Scrumptious photo by Lara604)

Here's Bernice's unstoppable Baklava of Awesomesauce:

Oven: 350F

1 package phyllo pastry (freezer section of the grocery store)
1.5 sticks butter, melted

1 lb chopped walnuts
3 TB sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1.5 c sugar
2.5 c water
2-3 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 TB honey
1 TB lemon juice

Defrost pastry, keeping it covered with a damp paper towel so it doesn't dry out. Mix the filling ingredients in a bowl. Butter a 9x12 baking pan and cover with 5 sheets of pastry, buttering between each layer (fold in excess). Spread half of the filling over the pastry, then cover with 3 more layers of buttered pastry. Spread remaining filling and then cover with 4-5 more sheets of buttered pastry, then cut away excess around the edges. Cut the top layers into a pretty diamond shape (easier to cut later) and poke one clove stick into each piece. Bake in pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes. Turn heat up to 375F and bake for another 10-15 mins, until light golden. Watch carefully! Let cool before adding syrup.

To make syrup: combine all ingredients except honey and bring to a boil for 8-10 mins, then add honey and simmer another 5 mins until slightly thickened. Discard cloves and cinnamon and pour slowly over baklava. Let stand for 10 mins, then serve! Cover a store at room temp for 2-3 days.

Enjoy, and see you at the festival!


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