Spiced Baklava
 
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces of unsalted walnuts
  • 8 ounces of unsalted almonds
  • 8 ounces of salted pistachios
  • 2 whole vanilla beans, scraped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 1 pound of Phyllo dough
  • 2¾ sticks butter
  • Honey Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup:
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
Instructions
  1. Thaw Phyllo dough according to directions on package, then unroll. Once thawed, cover with a slightly damp towel to keep from drying out and breaking.
  2. Combine nuts in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Once chopped, add nuts to a large bowl and combine with brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, and vanilla bean, thoroughly mix.
  3. Melt butter in a sauce pan or in a microwave safe bowl.
  4. Using a pastry brush, brush an entire 9x13 pan with melted butter. Layer 8 sheets of Phyllo dough – brush each one with melted butter – in the baking dish. After layer 8, spread ¼ of the nut mixture evenly over the dough.*
  5. After the first layer of nuts, layer 4 sheets of Phyllo on top – brush each one with melted butter. Repeat this 3 more times: 1 layer of nuts, 4 sheets of Phyllo, 1 layer of nuts, 4 sheets of Phyllo, then a fourth layer of nuts.
  6. After the fourth layer of nuts, add 8 sheets of Phyllo for the top – brushing each with melted butter. If there is any butter left, pour it over top.
  7. Put the whole pan in the fridge and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove baklava from fridge and using a sharp knife, cut as desired. After cutting, place pan in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.**
  9. Once in the oven make the syrup.
  10. To make syrup: Combine all ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and let cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely, remove cinnamon stick.
  11. While the baklava is hot, evenly pour the syrup over top. Let set overnight, covered with aluminum foil once cool. If you can't wait that long... no one will notice a corner piece missing.
Notes
*Be very patient and gentle with the dough, and if it begins to rip, just try to push it into place.
**If the top of the baklava gets to brown, tent it with aluminum foil.

Cutting tips: We first cut equal squares and then cut horizontally. This made beautiful triangles.

Substitutions: 1 tablespoon of Vanilla Bean Paste = 1 Vanilla Bean
Recipe by Bake 2 The Future at https://bake2thefuture.com/2013/10/04/spiced-baklava/