Things I learned today:
1. Phyllo dough dries out really fast. All the advice to put a wet towel over the dough as you’re working with it, that’s not for beginners. That’s for everyone. I don’t want to talk about it.
2. If you have special vegan butter that’s kinda expensive, a) make sure the butter that isn’t expensive is easy for 90 year old grandpas to find, b) tell said grandpa that he shouldn’t bust into your expensive vegan butter with his probably licked butter knife.
3. I need a pastry brush. It’s really hard to spread melted butter on phyllo dough with a teaspoon.
4. When you’re purchasing walnuts from the bulk bins, do not under any circumstances let your 2 year old and 4 year old out of the cart. They will, guaranteed, be elbow deep in vital wheat gluten flour. My apologies to anyone who has ever purchased from bulk bins anywhere…
5. Unk C doesn’t like having his picture taken. He doesn’t like the chocolate-peanut butter combo either. Weird. He does, however, like baklava. I think. I made some today and learned a lot.
6. Baklava is good. Especially if you do it my way. Just stay out of my earth balance…
1/2 package phyllo dough
1/2 cup melted earth balance
2 cups chopped walnuts
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp rose water
1 tsp vanilla
Combine chopped walnuts, cinnamon and cardamom.
Spray a bread loaf pan with nonstick spray. Cover your opened package of phyllo with a damp towel. Take one sheet at a time and fold into thirds. It should fit perfectly in your loaf pan. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle about 2-3 TBS of walnut filling over phyllo. Repeat layers until you’re out of filling. Finish with a layer of phyllo and butter.
Cut into squares. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer for 20 minutes. As soon as baklava is done, immediately spoon syrup on top. Let cool. Note: I only used about 2/3 of the syrup.