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Makes 25 pieces
2 cups finely chopped walnuts
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 box frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1 pound unsalted butter, melted
1 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 sticks cinnamon
1/8 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. rose water
3 tbsp. pistachios, coarsely ground, for garnish
Combine the walnuts and cinnamon. Cut an 8” X 8” square from each of the 20 pieces of phyllo. Cut and fit remaining pieces of phyllo into a second 8” X 8” square. Stack and cover the squares with wax paper and dampened tea towels to prevent drying.
Heat oven to 350° F. Layer 2 phyllo squares in the bottom of an 8” X 8” baking dish, brushing each square with butter. Sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons of the walnuts. Layer 2
more phyllo squares in dish, brushing each with butter; sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons walnuts. Repeat procedure until remaining walnuts have been used. Layer the remaining phyllo on top, brushing each with butter. Score diagonally, through top few layers, into diamond-patterned sections. Bake uncovered 1 hour.
Remove baked phyllo from oven, cool to lukewarm.
Combine remaining ingredients except rose water in 2 quart saucepan. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in rose water.
Pour hot syrup over phyllo gradually, allowing syrup to saturate layers. Cut into servings. Garnish with pistachios. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Baklava takes on more flavor after an overnight rest. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave on counter or refrigerate. Do not freeze.
©Sally Bernstein, 2005
Photo Credit: http://www.allrestaurants.eu