Photo by Allrecipes

How to Make Smart Cookie's Pistachio-Walnut Baklava

Baklava is a centuries-old Mediterranean dessert recipe made with paper-thin sheets of filo dough pastry layered with ground pistachios and walnuts, sugar and spice, and even more layers of buttery filo dough. And after it's baked, the whole thing is drenched with a honey syrup kissed with a touch of orange blossom water.

Does all that sound over-the-top rich and luxurious? That's because it is. But lucky us, it's actually pretty easy to make.

MasterChef alum, Elise Mayfield — aka Smart Cookie — shares her recipe for baklava, and we'll share Smart Cookie's top tips to for working with the filo dough (you can easily find frozen filo dough at the grocery store) to create the sweet nutty layers, and making the honey syrup for the final touch to this indulgent dessert.

Get the recipe: Pistachio-Walnut Baklava

"Spiced nuts are layered between buttered sheets of phyllo pastry and baked into this crispy, flaky delicacy saturated with an orange blossom-infused honey syrup." — Smart Cookie

Pistachio-Walnut Baklava
Photo by Smart Cookie

Smart Cookie's Top Tips:

1. Working with paper-thin sheets of filo dough pastry is easier if you drape a damp towel over the stack of sheets to keep them from drying out.

2. Be sure to line your baking pan with a sheet of parchment paper (and butter it up) to ensure the baklava won't stick to the pan.

3. If your filo dough tears a little as you pull it off the stack, don't worry -- you can still use it. The tear won't show at all.

4. You'll use your knife to score the top layers of pastry into diamond shapes before you bake it. This helps you do the final pastry cutting later. No need to cut all the way down to the bottom of the pan; just the top layers will do.

5. Once you pour the honey syrup over the baked baklava, you'll have to exercise some patience and let it cool completely before cutting it into serving pieces.

Watch the video to see it all come together: