I've been cooking for years, and baklava remains a favorite. Most folks find one piece of this rich dessert very satisfying, so this recipe feeds many people. —Cindy Schumacher, Kenvil, New Jersey
- 1 package (16 ounces, 14-inch x 9-inch sheet size) frozen phyllo dough, thawed
- 1-1/4 cups butter, melted
- 1 pound finely chopped walnuts
- 1 package (12 ounces) miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Butter a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans. Unroll one package of phyllo dough; cut stack into a 10-1/2-in. x 9-in. rectangle. Repeat with remaining phyllo. Discard scraps.
- Line bottom of prepared pan with two sheets of phyllo dough (sheets will overlap slightly). Brush with butter. Repeat layers 8 times. (Keep dough covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel until ready to use to prevent it from drying out.)
- In a large bowl, combine the nuts, chocolate chips, sugar, cinnamon and lemon peel. Sprinkle 2 cups over top layer of phyllo.
- Top with four layers phyllo dough, buttering each layer. Top with 2 or more cups nut mixture. Top with four layers phyllo dough, buttering each layer; top with remaining nut mixture. Top with the remaining phyllo dough, brushing each layer with butter. Drizzle any remaining butter over top.
- Using a sharp knife, cut baklava into 1-1/2-in. diamonds. Bake at 325° for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, combine the syrup ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Pour over warm baklava. Cool completely in pans on wire racks. Yield: 50 pieces.
Originally published as Chocolate Baklava in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2001, p97
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