I was thinking of a creamier dessert like a layered torte maybe to make for Valentine's day but it has been awhile since I made baklava and I guess this is a perfect day for it. And besides I have all the ingredients needed just waiting to be put together. The filling is usually made of a combination of walnuts, almonds and pistachios. But I have this bag of walnuts in the fridge so I decided to make good use of them. The first step is to make the simple syrup. Combine a cup of sugar, 2/3 cup water in a small saucepan and gently boil for about 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of orange flower water and simmer for another 2 minutes. Set this aside to cool. I toasted the walnuts in the oven for a few minutes before finely grinding them in the food processor. Brown sugar and ground cinnamon were then added to the ground nuts and set aside. Meanwhile, about 1/4 cup of butter ( salted or unsalted ) was melted. Start the phyllo sheet layering process by brushing a 9x13" pan with melted butter. Lay a sheet of phyllo in the pan and brush with melted butter. Continue the layering process, making sure to brush melted butter in between the layers. Layer about 4-5 sheets of phyllo then sprinkle 1/3 of the ground nut mixture. Repeat the layering and sprinkling of the nut mixture finishing with the phyllo sheet layers on top. With a sharp knife, score the top layer of phyllo with a diamond pattern. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 40 minutes or until top is crispy and golden. Remove from the oven and immediately pour the syrup over the baklava. Let cool, slice and serve.
Happy Valentine's Day!