Today is my special day and I’m sensing the Lord’s blessing upon me (Ps. 129:8) through my beloved of almost 24 years  creating a delicious baklava.

A morning of worship filling me with joy and happiness and a restful afternoon consisted of snoozing during The Masters which our favorite golfer Phil Mickelson just became once again the Champion, and waking up to the smell of roasting walnuts, butter, sugar, orange and fillo dough.

Todd’s Baklava: 

  • 1 package of phyllo or (fillo is the spelling on the package we bought) (12-15 sheets of dough).  We used Organic Whole Wheat Fillo dough ( it’s all the store had)
  • 1 16 oz. bag of whole walnuts.  crush to size in a food processor, or by any means necessary.  Buy a pre-crushed bag if necessary.  Walnuts, almonds, pistachios will do.  Any combination.
  • cinnamon or similar spice
  • 1-2 cups brown sugar.  Mix with crushed walnuts. 
  • 3 sticks of sweetened, unsalted butter.  Melt butter, separate out and discard the milk fat.  Buy ghee as an alternative
  • One of the following sweeteners: Honey, agave syrup, lemon or an orange zest infused simple sugar syrup.  In Tucson we used wildflower honey, mesquite honey, and agave syrup for different flavors.  Today I made a simple syrup with the orange zest of one orange infused into the syrup: about 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water melted together.  Syrup will thick enough to stick to the back of a spoon. 


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine walnuts, cinnamon, and brown sugar into a bowl.  Separate the butter and put in a different bowl.  Spray a large baking pan with non-stick spray, or rub the surface with butter.
  • After preparing pan, line the pan with the first sheet of fillo dough.  Brush generously with butter.  Add another layer of dough, brush with butter. 
  • Sprinkle the nut mixture onto the dough, drizzle syrup. 
  • Repeat the process through 12-15 layers of fill dough. 
  • Before baking, cut the top layers of dough on angles, about 2″ triangles each.  Drizzle more syrup. 
  • Bake baklava about 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then adjust temp to 475 to brown for about 10-15 minutes to brown the dough (keep an eye on it during this phase so it doesn’t burn).  If overly dry, drizzle more syrup, or in a pinch, sprinkle fresh squeezed orange or lemon juice. 
  • Plate and garnish with thinly sliced oranges.

Celebrating in Texas,