Baklava to Beat the Rainy-Day Blues

23 Apr
After two days of rain, I’m fantasizing about being back in Lindos with the Family Kef.

Instead, I’ll revisit some Greek Easter glory– baklava.  Surprisingly easy to make, this gooey treat is one of my favorites to bake and eat.  This recipe comes from JetSet Kef’s grad school classmate and has become a yearly addition to the Greek Easter table.

  • 1 lb Walnuts – Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 C. Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1.5 C. Butter (3 sticks), Melted
  • 1 Package Frozen Phyllo Dough (16 oz) Thawed
  • 1 C. Sugar
  • 1 C. Water
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 C. Honey (Net weight 12 oz.)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine and set aside walnuts, 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon
  3. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the bottom and sides of a 10×14″ (about 1-2″ deep) pan with melted butter.
  4. Open the phyllo dough and layer 6 whole leafs (or 12 half leafs) in the pan, buttering each layer as you go. (The edges will extend over the side.)
  5. Spread 1 cup of the walnut mixture.
  6. If your phyllo dough comes in full sheets, cut the remaining phyllo dough in half.
  7. Layer 8 half sheets — butter each layer. Each sheet will be an inch or so short, so stagger the sheets from corner to corner to cover the whole pan. 
  8. Spread 1 cup of the walnut mixture.
  9. Repeat 8 sheets and walnut mixture twice. You will end up with 4 layers of nuts.
  10. Layer the remaining half sheets on top — butter each layer.
  11. Brush the top with the remaining butter.
  12. Trim the edges of extra dough off.
  13. Cut halfway through the layers using the diagram to the right. DO NOT cut corner to corner–it weakens the structural integrity of the baklava!
  14. Bake 1 hour or until golden brown.
  15. 15 minutes before the baklava should be done, mix 1 cup sugar, water, and lemon juice in a sauce pan.
  16. Cook sauce over a medium heat, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
  17. Remove from heat, add the honey and vanilla, and stir until well blended.
  18. Remove the baklava from the oven and finish cutting through the layers.
  19. Pour the sauce over the hot baklava.
  20. Cool. Let it sit for at least 24 hours (lightly covered — but not in the refrigerator–you don’t have to do this, but it lets the honey soak in more)

3 Responses to “Baklava to Beat the Rainy-Day Blues”


  1. I Survived Greek Easter 2013 | Cooking Up Kefi - May 15, 2013

    […] Baklava                                                                βακλαvα […]

  2. Skyline Chili | Cooking Up Kefi - February 25, 2014

    […] it to the running tab of things things my people have given the world. Democracy, Socratic method, baklava, and… the Midwestern equivalent of Ben’s Chili Bowl. Not bad for a dozen […]

  3. Baklava Cheesecake | Cooking Up Kefi - September 28, 2015

    […] buttering them and top with about 1/3 of nut mixture (for more detailed instructions, read my baklava recipe or watch this video). Repeat. Put one layer of buttered filo over the second layer of nuts, then […]

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