Christmas Baklava Recipe

Christmas Baklava Recipe
Baklava is a beloved dessert - Greek or Turkish depending on which historical accounts you believe - and the following Christmas Baklava is perfect for Christmas dinners and cookie trays. If you’ve never worked with phyllo pastry, this recipe may be a little intimidating, but it’s not rocket science, and if you thaw it correctly (it comes frozen), and keep it covered so it doesn’t dry out, you’ll find it easy to work with. Another thing: don’t skimp on the butter between the layers. This isn’t a diet food and if you’re making low calorie treats, just skip this one. There are versions out there where non-stick spray has been used instead of the butter and they are absolutely disgusting. This baklava, however is as far from disgusting as you can get; it’s buttery and full of ground nuts, spices, and glacé cherries in red and green to make it festive and yummy.
The official Hancock tasters were impressed, and requested a second batch so that all of the diamonds of yummy pastry wouldn’t end up on the cookie trays given out to friends and neighbors. Fortunately, this beautiful Christmas treat freezes beautifully, so you can make it up to five months ahead.

64 Small diamonds

2 cups finely ground walnuts
1 cup finely ground almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup red glacé cherries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup green glacé cherries, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 1/2 cups melted butter
1 pound phyllo dough

1/4 cup red glacé cherries, chopped
1/4 cup green glacé cherries, chopped

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
lemon peel, cut into large strips using a vegetable peeler (no pith)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Mix all filling ingredients.
  3. Brush the bottom of a 9” x 13" baking dish with butter.
  4. Lay a sheet of phyllo dough on the butter; brush it with butter and add 9 more sheets of dough, buttering each.
  5. Spread 1/2 of the filling over the dough, then layer 10 more sheets, brushing each with butter as before.
  6. Spread the remaining filling over the dough, then top with 10 more buttered sheets of phyllo.
  7. Press the mixture down with your hands.
  8. ””Cut, without cutting through the bottom layer, into diamonds; sprinkle with the 1/4 cup chopped red glacé cherries and the 1/4 cup chopped green glacé cherries.
  9. Bake for 1 hour or until browned.
  10. Meanwhile, make the syrup: Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  11. Turn heat down to medium high and cook until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove the lemon peel.
  12. When the baklava is done, remove from the oven and pour the hot syrup over all.
  13. Allow to cool thoroughly, then use a sharp knife to cut through to the bottom. Store in an airtight container or freeze for longer storage.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 145 Calories from Fat 70
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 49% Protein 3% Carb. 48%

Nutrient Amount per
Total Fat 8 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Cholesterol 12 mg
Sodium 73 mg
Total Carbohydrate 17 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 10 g
Protein 1 g

Vitamin A 3% Vitamin C 1% Calcium 0% Iron 1%

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This content was written by Karen Hancock. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Karen Hancock for details.