Thursday, January 28, 2016

Baklava: Super Easy Nut Pastry, Upstate Style!

Ruthy here, with a family favorite... and a twist!

When I posted this pic on facebook, several folks mentioned that it brought back memories of friends or neighbors or relatives...

I'd never had baklava until I worked as a waitress at a local Greek restaurant... The owner's mother made a lovely baklava and Greek-style rice pudding, and I love learning from cooks who've got their hand in the pot of other cultures... but you know me, I like to play it my way!

My kids weren't big honey-lovers, so here is the famous and popular (well, famous in our house!) New York Style Baklava, an easy peasy recipe from our place to yours:

1 sleeve frozen Phyllo dough
2 sticks butter, melted

Nut mix:
1 cup almonds
1 cup walnuts
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Finely chop almonds and walnuts, mix with sugar and cinnamon.

*RUTHY TIME SAVER TIP: I use my food processor and finely chop a whole big bag of almonds and walnuts that I buy at Sam's Club, add 2 cups sugar and 3 teaspoons cinnamon mix and freeze in plastic container or 1 gallon freezer bag. Then when you make baklava, you just scoop out 2 cups of mix, already prepared and perfectly fresh!

Thaw phyllo (fillo) dough. Double line a 13" x 9" pan with aluminum foil (I use heavy duty)

Drizzle a little butter in pan, lay 3 sheets of phyllo (sometimes it tears, no one will know!) dip pastry brush in butter and gently brush phyllo with butter.

Repeat, then sprinkle about 2/3 cup nut mix over the second layer.

Repeat, ending with phyllo dough on top. Generously butter top fillo dough, and gently "score" the top layer of phyllo with a sharp knife in diamond or squares or triangle shapes.

Bake at 350° for about 30 to 40 minutes until golden.

Remove from oven, allow to cool about ten minutes, then slowly drizzle hot syrup over the top, allowing it to sink into the perforations.

2 Cups Real Maple Syrup
1 teaspoon or so cinnamon

Heat until hot, but no need to boil. Drizzle over warm baklava.

Allow to sit for about 10-15 minutes, then eat warm or cool.

Baklava stays fresh for days, the syrup seals the pastry-rich freshness in.

Next month we're going to do Isabo's version of baklava... Isabo is helping run the kitchen at the fictional Double S ranch in Gray's Glen, Washington... It's a fictional kitchen, but boy she knows her way around, enough to keep a whole bunch of cowboys happy.

Our moon....

Clouds have prevented me from getting a pic of the four planets in alignment, but I got this lovely moon shot, so I was happy. And the coyotes had two "runs" behind my house that night, one for a hunt and the other just because they wanted to sing to the moon.

We got a dusting of snow... last week was the first time our plow man had to come. THE FIRST TIME!!!! That's crazy talk around here. But this dusting is picturesque, isn't it?

I'm busily finishing my third Grace Haven book, there are three Ruthy books releasing in March, "Back in the Saddle" (3/16), "More Than a Promise", (3/18) and "Toss the Bouquet", a "Year of Weddings" novella collection.

Watch here and other blogs for some delightful recipe and book giveaways through February! I'd love to pull your name out of the cat dish!

Multi-published, best-selling author Ruth Logan Herne pretends to be normal because she knows it makes folks just plain feel better, but she knows the truth... she loves the crazy, fun people in her head, she loves writing sweet, inspirational stories, and she's generally happy if the possums leave the cat food on the porch alone.

Her needs are few! :)

She loves making new friends on facebook, or stop by Ruthy's Website...


  1. Hot syrup? Please add a little more info to the directions. Unless I missed something........

    1. Judy, you caught me, I forgot to list the maple syrup!!!!

    2. Okay, for this recipe it's 2 cups of maple syrup with a dash (about a teaspoon) of cinnamon heated until hot... but no need to boil because this is already syrup.

  2. This is dangerous. Very dangerous.

    I love baklava, and have always been content to enjoy a piece or two a year when someone else made it. But you've given me the recipe and directions! Who knows when the baklava making will end! Our house will be inundated with baklava!

    Okay, maybe not. :)

    I'll have to make this for the next carry-in supper at church...and try to restrict myself to one piece. Maybe two.

    And THREE releases in March!?! I have "Back in the Saddle" on pre-order, and will have to look for the other two.

    I'm not complaining, but you do know you write books faster than I can read them, right?

    1. Jan, baklava is my downfall, too... I quickly packed plastic ware full and sent some off to both NYC boys! If it's here, I cannot control myself and I nibble, non-stop.

    2. Okay, the books.... One schedule was delayed, which is why there are two big books releasing back-to-back from different publishers...and Toss the Bouquet is three delightful novellas, with my "All Dressed Up in Love"... Which I love!!!! :)

  3. Jan is correct, Ruthy. Baklava is dangerous. Having a recipe for baklava is even worse because that allows one to make it at any time. Yes, danger, danger, young Will Robinson.

    This does look divine, BTW. Love the snowy pix, too. Am having to live winter vicariously,through others this year. Sigh. Guess I'd better get used to it.

    1. And it freezes so well. It can be popped into the freezer and then thawed one delicious piece at a time! :)

      At least if it's in the freezer, I have like 80 feet of walking to THINK about the choice!

  4. I'm so glad you made this and shared it!! I've never tried making it before, but I can do this! It's simpler than I thought it would be. :)

  5. BTW, I think I would prefer the maple version myself.

  6. Oh my heavens. Want. NOW.

    Ruthy's not playing fair.

  7. Favorite dessert in the world. OMG. I want it now too!!!

  8. No honey. Must have honey in mine. Can I replace the syrup with honey?

  9. My son works at our local Greek restaurant, and their baklava is divine! I didn't realize how easy this was to make. I'll be adding it to my recipe file.