Grandma Marie's Baklawa


Grandma Marie's Baklawa

So sweet of our Madison to make Grandma Marie’s Baklawa for us to enjoy. You always knew it was a special occasion at our house if Grandma Marie came bearing a plate of freshly made baklawa, the traditional Lebanese treat she made for years. Baklawa, or baklava, made by layering thin sheets of phyllo dough with chopped nuts, butter or oil and honey or syrup dates back to the 8th century B.C. in the Middle East. Phyllo comes from a word meaning “leaf” in Greek, referring to the paper-thin layers of dough used in most recipes. This sweet rich treat was reserved for holidays throughout history because of the time and expense associated with making it. ♦️Grandma Marie’s baklawa recipe achieves a delicate balance of sweetness and crunch, and it always amazed me how perfect the little diamond-shaped pieces came out every time she made it. One key in making baklawa, Marie told me, is having everything ready to go ahead of time, which calls for some planning. Marie made it all look so easy as you watch her effortlessly assembling her signature gift from the kitchen. Years of practice have obviously paid off. For Grandma Marie, it was a labor of love, to be sure. So glad Madison is keeping her tradition going strong year after year. Perhaps you’d like to expand your baking horizons sometime soon and make today’s fabulous favorite, Grandma Marie’s Freshly Baked Baklawa.



  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cup water
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water or rose water
  • 1 pound finely ground walnuts
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water or rose water.
  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 10-ounce box fillo (phyllo) dough in refrigerator overnight, then one hour at room temperature


  1. Combine 3 cups sugar, 2 cups water and juice of half a lemon in a medium saucepan and boil for 10 minutes.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon orange blossom water or rose water. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Combine 1 pound finely ground walnuts*, ¼ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon orange blossom water or rose water. (*or unsalted ground pistachios) Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Clarify the butter by melting 1 pound unsalted butter, and skimming off foam.
  5. Thaw one 10-ounce box fillo (phyllo) dough in refrigerator overnight, then one hour at room temperature.
  6. Spread butter over bottom of a 10-inch by 15-inch jelly roll pan to cover.
  7. Lay 6 sheets of thawed fillo in pan. Spread all of prepared filling on top of fillo sheets in pan.
  8. Spread the prepared filling over the fillo dough. Spread evenly to the edge of the dough, pressing down with the back of a spoon.
  9. Cover with additional 6 sheets of thawed fillo dough. Cover with prepared butter.
  10. Open second package of thawed fillo dough and put on top. Cover with prepared butter. Line up fillo dough so edges meet.
  11. Starting in one corner, cut a diagonal cut to the opposite corner, all the way through the baklawa.
  12. Continue cutting diagonal cuts across baklawa, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
  13. Rotate pan and cut straight lines across baklawa.
  14. Rotate pan and cut straight lines across baklawa, again about 1 inch apart, creating diamond-shaped pieces. Spoon prepared butter on top, using up the rest of the butter.
  15. Bake in a preheated oven at 315 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour, until lightly browned.
  16. Remove from oven and spoon cold syrup over the whole pan of hot baklawa, using about 1-1/2 cups of the syrup. (Extra syrup can be used when making another pan of baklawa or for pancakes or cookies.) Let baklawa cool completely before removing from pan and serving.

Baklawa will keep 1 week at room temperature  or 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.

It also freezes nicely.

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