Pistachio Baklava

Ingredients: 

16 Sheets Phyllo Dough, thawed

2 sticks Butter, melted

4 cups Unsalted Pistachios

1 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

2 cups Honey

1/2 cup Water

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Unsalted Pistachios, coarsely ground, for garnish

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place pistachios in a single layer on a baking sheet, you might need to use 2 baking sheets. Toast nuts for approximately 3-5 minutes until slightly golden and very fragrant. Let the pistachios cool and then coarsely grind using a food processor. Toss with the ground cinnamon.

Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Cover the phyllo dough with a damp towel to prevent it from drying out while working. Place 6 sheets of phyllo dough in the bottom of the dish. Make sure to butter each sheet before placing on top of the one before it. Place 1/3 the pistachio mixture evenly throughout the dish. Layer 3 pieces of phyllo dough, buttering each sheet before placing on top of the other. Distribute 1/3 pistachio mixture evenly in the pan. Layer 3 more pieces of phyllo dough, buttering in between. Top with the final 1/3 of the pistachios. Place 4 sheets of phyllo dough to top off the baklava, making sure to butter in between sheets. Brush the top with butter. Cut the baklava into squares and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

While the baklava is baking, make the syrup. In a saucepan, combine water, honey, and vanilla extract. Heat over medium flame and stir. Heat until ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Take the baklava out of the oven and pour half of the syrup evenly over the dessert. Let it soak it up and pour the rest of the syrup over the baklava. Garnish with ground pistachios.

*Photographed by Alli Shepherd