Baklava is a delightfl and sweet dessert that can make a perfect addition to your Christmas festivities. While it’s traditionally associated with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, it can be a wonderful treat to enjoy during the holiday season. Here’s a Christmas-themed baklava recipe for you:
For the Baklava:
- 1 package (16 ounces) of phyllo dough, thawed
- 1 1/2 cups of unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups of mixed nuts (e.g., walnuts, pistachios, almonds), finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 orange or 1 tablespoon of orange zest
For Decoration (Optional):
- Crushed candy canes or red and green sprinkles
- Edible gold or silver dust for a festive touch
- Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C).
- In a bowl, combine the finely chopped nuts with ground cinnamon and ground cloves. This will be the filling for your baklava.
- Brush a 9×13-inch baking dish with melted butter. Place one sheet of phyllo dough in the dish and brush it with more melted butter. Repeat this process, layering one sheet at a time, until you have about 8 sheets layered.
- Sprinkle a portion of the nut mixture over the layered phyllo sheets.
- Continue layering phyllo sheets, brushing each one with butter, and adding a layer of nuts, until all the nut mixture is used.
- Layer the remaining phyllo sheets on top, ensuring you brush each one with butter. You should end up with about 8 more layers on top.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the baklava into diamond or square-shaped pieces. This is easier to do before baking.
- Bake the baklava in the preheated oven for about 45-55 minutes, or until it’s golden brown and crisp.
- While the baklava is baking, make the syrup. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, water, honey, orange zest, and vanilla extract. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes. The syrup should thicken slightly.
- When the baklava is done baking, immediately pour the hot syrup evenly over the hot baklava. This will make a sizzling sound.
- Let the baklava cool and absorb the syrup, which may take several hours or overnight.
- Once the baklava is completely cooled, you can decorate it with crushed candy canes, red and green sprinkles, and edible gold or silver dust to give it a festive Christmas appearance.
- Serve and enjoy your Christmas-themed baklava!
This Christmas baklava is a delicious and visually appealing dessert that combines the traditional flavors of baklava with a holiday twist. It’s sure to be a hit with your family and guests.