Baklava, a Christmas Favorite!

Published December 28, 2017

Sitto’s kitchen always had lots of #Syrian sweets ready for friends and family during the holidays. Baklava was always a Christmas Favorite! I remember watching her put layers of Phyllo dough into her baking pan, methodically buttering every 3 or 4 layers, until she had reached the mid-way point of the pan. Then she’d add the chopped nuts..sometimes they were sweetened walnuts, sometimes pistachio nuts. I loved the scent of the Orange Blossom water mixed in with the sugar and nuts. After she had patted them down, she started with the phyllo dough layers again until it had all reached the top of the baking pan. After adding more melted butter to the top, she’d put the pan in the refrigerator to cool. Before baking, she’d take her sharpest knife and make diamond-shaped cuts into the phyllo/nut layers. In those days, she’d cut a brown paper bag to fit the top of the baking pan so that it would prevent the top from getting too brown during the bake. I remember that I couldn’t wait until she pulled it out of the oven and drizzle it with the sticky-sweet sugar syrup that she called Shirreh. It was glistening and ready for our celebrations!