Baklava

1 1/4 lbs Walnuts (about 5 c.) finely chopped

2 T. sugar

2 t. cinnamon

1/2 of a  (1 lb) pkg. phyllo dough sheets, thawed (You need 18 sheets)

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

2 c. sugar

2 c. water

1 c. honey

1 (2") piece of lemon peel

2 T. lemon juice


Preheat oven to 325*


Mix together nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.  (I placed the walnut halves, sugar and cinnamon into my food processor and pulsed until finely chopped and left them in that bowl).  


Working quickly, and keeping the unused phyllo covered, lay out 1 sheet of phyllo onto your counter. Brush with melted butter.  Cover with  second sheet, brush with butter and sprinkle with 1/2 c. of the nut mixture.  Repeat this process with twice more using 2 sheets of phyllo and 1/2 c. of nut mixture each time.  Starting at the long end, gently roll the phyllo sheets up into a tight, fat roll.  Brush the seam with butter to seal.  Repeat this entire process twice more making 3 rolls.


Using a very sharp knife, cut the rolls into 1" slices and lay the slices, cut side down onto 2 large ungreased, rimmed, baking sheets.  (I lined mine with parchment).  Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and using tongs flip the baklava over and bake for another 20 minutes or until cooked through, golden and flaky.


While the baklava is baking, combine the sugar, water, honey and lemon peel in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over med high heat stirring to dissolve sugar.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 12 minutes.  Stir in the lemon juice and simmer for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.


Remove the Baklava from the oven and slowly pour the syrup over the pieces while still on the rimmed baking sheet. (I used a ladle).  Let stand 1 hour to soak up the syrup. (I flipped mine halfway through the soaking period).  


Transfer to individual cupcake liners and serve immediately or cover and keep at room temperature for up to a week.