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Baklava is a sinfully sweet and nutty Turkish delicacy that consists of layers upon layers of light phyllo dough, encasing a variety of nuts that are sweetened with honey or syrup. Our favorite form of this dessert is pistachio baklava, and while it looks really difficult and complicated to make, we’re here to let you know that it’s totally doable! We’ll admit that making phyllo dough from scratch is tricky, which is why we bought ours and went from there! After that, all you have to do is shell your nuts (or just buy them pre-shelled) and get to work!

Pistachio Baklava

Yields 2 dozen


  • 1 pound shelled unsalted pistachios (about 3 cups), plus extra for garnish
  • 16 sheets phyllo pastry dough (fresh or frozen, then thawed; from a 1 pound package)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 400º F and butter a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Place your pistachios in food processor and pulse together with 1/4 cup sugar until mixture is finely ground.
  3. Transfer pistachios to a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup melted butter and 1/4 cup honey. Mix well.
  4. Stack all the phyllo sheets on top of one another and cut them in half horizontally.
  5. Take one of the halves and begin placing individual phyllo sheets in your baking dish, brushing with melted butter before placing the next sheet.
  6. Once you’ve finished with one half of the phyllo sheets, carefully spread pistachio mixture over the pastry. If any sheets break, just piece them back together and keep working.
  7. Top pistachios with remaining phyllo sheets and continue buttering each one before placing the next.
  8. Drizzle any remaining butter over the top. Use a sharp knife to cut baklava into 1 1/2-inch squares.
  9. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
  10. Remove from oven and re-cut into squares.
  11. Combine remaining sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until totally dissolved, then stir in remaining honey and cinnamon and mix well.
  12. Pour mixture evenly over baklava and let cook before serving. Garnish with ground pistachios.

Recipe adapted from First Look, Then Cook

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