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Pies & Pastries

1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup finely chopped pecans
2 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
1 (1 lb.) pkg. phyllo dough (about 40 9-by-14-inch sheets), thawed
1 1/4 cups (2 &1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup water
1/4 cup honey
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  • Servings:Makes 36 pieces (36 servings)
  • Prep Time:30 minutes
  • Cook Time:55 minutes
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the walnuts, pecans, 1/2 cup of the sugar, cinnamon, and salt (if using).
2. Unroll the phyllo and place the stack of sheets on a work surface. If needed, cut the stack to an approximate 9-by-13 inch rectangle. Cover the stack with a sheet of waxed paper, then cover with a lightly damp kitchen towel. Brush a 9-by-13 inch baking pan with some of the melted butter. Place3 phyllo sheets in the pan, returning the damp towel to cover the remainder. Brush the top sheet generously with melted butter. Top with 3 more sheets, then brush with additional melted butter. Repeat stacking 3 sheets and then buttering the top sheet, for a total of 6 layerings or 18 sheets. Spread withthe nut mixture over the top sheet. Cover the nut mixture with 3 sheets of phyllo and brush with melted butter. Repeat layering five more times, each time placing 3 sheets and then buttering the top sheet, again for a total of 6 more layers or 18 sheets.
3. Using a sharp knife, score the phyllo (cutting through all the layers) lengthwise into 6 strips, then cut crosswise into 6 strips to make 36 rectangles. Alternately, make triangles: cut baklava lengthwise into 6 stripsand crosswise into 3 to make 18 rectangles, then cut each rectangle in half diagonally. Bake until golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
4. When baklava is cool, prepare the syrup. Combine the remaining 2 cups sugar, water, and honey in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes; the liquid should be syrupy.
5. Spoon the hot syrup over the baklava, around the edges, and in the cuts. Use all the syrup. It may seem like too much syrup but the phyllo will absorb it. Let stand at room temperature for at least 3 hours or overnight before serving. Cover with foil once syrup-soaked baklava is at roomtemperature.
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, November - December 2011