Make your own irresistibly rich pastries by layering phyllo with nuts, brushing with butter and drizzling with spiced honey. Phyllo means "leaf" in Greek; the thinner-than-paper sheets easily dry out, so take care to work quickly and cover unused sheets with a damp towel. A mild honey such as clover or orange blossom paired with the cinnamon and cardamom results in a flavorful syrup.
Makes about 35 pieces
Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a 15-by-10-by-1-inch inch jelly roll pan or rimmed baking sheet. Mix the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. Lay the phyllo sheets out on a counter top and cover with a slightly damp towel to prevent them from drying out. Working quickly, place a sheet of phyllo in the prepared pan, brush with melted butter and then place another sheet on top. Continue with sheets, brushing each with melted butter until you have used about half or 10 sheets. Evenly spread the all of the walnut-sugar mixture over the stack of phyllo. Repeat the process of layering the remaining sheets, one by one, brushing melted butter over each sheet. Fold the ends of the sheets over on top of the pastry and brush with melted butter, or gently cut the overhang and discard. Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry through to the bottom into diamond shapes by cutting diagonal parallel lines about 2 inches apart. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the baklava is golden brown. Meanwhile, make honey syrup by stirring honey with water, lemon juice, cinnamon and cardamom in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes. Cool. Remove baklava from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Ladle the warm honey evenly over the baklava. Let cool completely before serving.