Baklava is good. It’s good for you. But when it’s made at home, it’s the best. And it doesn’t have to be my house that makes it. It can be anywhere. It can be anywhere. Baklava made at home usually tastes better than the baklava you buy at the store. It has more flavor, freshness, and something else.

In Pawhuska, Oklahoma, I don’t buy a lot of baklavas. Nonetheless.

Baklava makes an excellent Christmas food gift: give a whole pan to someone you care about, or divide it into portions and package them in small boxes or bags. Your recipients will appreciate you even more than they do now. Only you can decide whether or not this is a desirable outcome. Just be aware that it will occur.

Here’s how you make it:


1/2 pound chopped pecans

1/2 pound chopped walnuts

2-3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 pound package of phyllo dough

1-1/2 cup melted butter

2-1/2 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon lemon peel

Mix the walnuts in a large bowl and mix with the ground cinnamon. Sit aside.


Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish.

Place 2 sheets of paper in the bottom of the prepared dish. Spread generously with melted butter.

Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of the walnut mixture on the face. Repeat layers until all nuts, butter, and chips are used.

Finish with about 6 layers of edges on top. If you still have a little butter left over, spread it over the top layer.

With a very sharp knife, cut all the layers of baklava. Cut 3-4 slices lengthwise.

Then make diagonal cuts to make diamond shapes.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.

While the baklava is baking, heat the honey in a saucepan until it comes to a boil. Add the vanilla flavor and lemon peel.

When the baklava is cooked in bread, immediately pour the honey mixture over it.

Let it cool completely in the skillet.

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