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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cranberry Baklava

This recipe is amazing!  I had never tried to use phyllo dough before, but when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it.  It is very straightforward although it does take a little time ... but it is so worth it!  You will be so impressed with the result, as will everyone who tastes it!

I found the original recipe on allrecipes.com but with my modifications it is perfect!!!  It is a great recipe for the holidays ... the cranberries really make it festive and special.

Cranberry Baklava

1 16-oz. pkg phyllo dough
1 cup butter, melted
1 12-oz. pkg cranberries, finely chopped
2 6-oz. pkgs pecans, finely chopped
3/4 c. white sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t allspice
1/8 t ground cloves
1/8 t nutmeg
1.5 c. honey


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease a 13"x9" baking dish.  
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cranberries, pecans, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg.
  3. Trim phyllo dough to fit pan.  Layer 5 sheets of phyllo dough in dish, brushing each with melted butter.    [I find that phyllo dough is pretty forgiving ... if you rip a piece, simply use the melted butter to "paste" it together.  Since it is layered, a tear won't make much difference.  If the tear is in the same place on multiple sheets, try to move the ripped place by rotating the sheet on each layer so that the ripped spot doesn't go all the way through the layer.]
  4. Spread 1.5 cups of cranberry mixture over the phyllo dough.  Repeat so that you have 4 layers of phyllo dough and 3 layers of cranberry mixture.
  5. Using a sharp knife, cut halfway through the layers to make 24 pieces (triangular shaped pieces are the traditional way to cut baklava).  
  6. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Heat honey until it is warm and thin.  Pour evenly over the warm baklava.  Cool on wire rack for one hour.  
Baklava after cutting but before baking.
It will turn golden brown in the oven.

Baklava tastes best when it has had time to really sit and absorb the honey, so it is a great candidate to make in advance of an event or holiday.

A note about the phyllo dough - the brand name that I buy is called Athens.  The original recipe called for 6 sheets per layer, but the Athens package did not come with enough sheets.  Rather than open another package, I have found that 5 sheets work fine.  However, if your brand has enough for 6 sheets per layer, then use that.


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