Baklava is filled with heart-healthy nuts, rich in the kind of beneficial fats that have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and are thought to add to longevity. But nowadays, most purchased baklava is made with sugar syrup, which defeats its healthiness.
Here is a quick and easy version of baklava that is sweetened only with honey, like the traditional recipe. Each baklava is about three bites, and every bite is loaded with flavor and goodness. And you can make them in minutes! We also include the recipe for a vegan version without honey or butter. Itís all right here:
This recipe makes individual baklavas, rather than a whole tray. You can make them in advance and freeze them; then you can warm them up fresh one at a time, as needed.
1 package phyllo dough (your local grocery will probably have it in the freezer section, or get it at a Greek bakery)
1 stick butter
Chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, or a mix of these are good) You will need about 1 tablespoon of nuts for each baklava
Honey (you will need about 1 teaspoon of honey for each baklava)
1. Melt the butter.
2. Remove the phyllo from the package, unroll it, and cover with a damp (not wet) towel. It is essential to cover it or it will dry out.
3. Take one sheet of phyllo dough and place it on a flat surface. Working quickly (because the dough will dry out), spread melted butter all over the sheet with a pastry brush. Fold the sheet in half to maintain the length of the long side. Spread melted butter again and fold, again maintaining the length of the long side. Spread melted butter a third time on top.
4. At the end nearest you, imagine you are folding the right corner up and to the left to make a triangle. In that space that would be folded over, place one tablespoon of nuts and one teaspoon of honey. Fold the right corner over to make a triangle, then fold along the square edge, then triangle, and on and on, like you are folding a flag.
5. Place on a cookie sheet, with the end of the pastry on the underside, to hold it down. Spread melted butter on the top.
6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven about 10 -15 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately.
Makes one individual serving.
Or see this delicious vegan baklava recipe.
Adapted from a recipe by Debra Lynn Dadd, on her Sweet Savvy website.