Baklava

1 pound unsalted butter, melted 2 pounds shelled walnuts 1 pound phyllo dough sheets 2/3 cup granulated sugar 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground allspice or cloves Syrup: 2 cups honey 2 cups water 2 cups sugar 2 cinnamon sticks (or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon) 1 teaspoon grated orange peel (or to taste) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or to taste)


1 Thaw the phyllo before starting. Melt the butter. Grind or chop together the walnuts and almonds, and mix together with the cinnamon, allspice or cloves, and sugar. Using a rectangular pan, preferably a 9x13x2, brush the pan with the melted butter.

2 Separate a sheet of the thawed phyllo. Keep the rest covered by, but not touching, a damp towel. Handling it as little as possible, lay a sheet of phyllo in the bottom of the pan. Brush it with butter. Fold it over if necessary to fit in the pan. Do this until you have about 10-12 layers. Then put a layer of the nuts and spices mixture on top of the sheet of phyllo, cover with another sheet of phyllo, paint that with butter, and continue in this manner until you've used all of your filling. Top with about an equal amount of the phyllo sheets as you used for the bottom.

3 Cut across the completed baklava with a sharp knife, into triangles or diamonds. Bake at 350 for about an hour, or until evenly browned on top.

4 Syrup: Simmer together the syrup ingredients for ten minutes and strain. Allow to cool. Pour the cooled syrup over the baklava and let it sit before serving.

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