Vegan Bourbon Baklava

As you know, this week's been a week of firsts.  I made cannoli for the first time - baked and fried - but that wasn't enough.  I wanted to try my hand at baklava.

My friend Katie's mom, Diana, is a legend in the baklava world.  Well, maybe not - but everyone who's ever tried it, including myself, sings its praises.  This recipe may not be up to Diana's level, but it sure is delicious.

The addition of the nutmeg, cloves, and bourbon make it taste like the holidays, as if it were Thanksgiving or Christmas.

  Part of my seasonal display at the homestead.  Happy Holidays!

  Part of my seasonal display at the homestead.  Happy Holidays!

For the syrup, you can choose to either use maple syrup, agave nectar, or Lyle's Golden Syrup.  I used a combination of Lyle's and maple syrup.

Ingredients:
Adapted from Vegan Baking.net

1 c. walnuts
1/4 c. cardamom-infused bourbon (learn more about infusing your own liquor!)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
30 sheets of phyllo dough, thawed
1/2 c. maple syrup

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottom of a pan with parchment paper.  

You can decide which size to make it; I chose 8x8, but some phyllo dough will fit a 9x12 pan.  I cut mine to fit my pan.  It's important to keep the phyllo dough covered with a damp towel so it doesn't dry out.  

In a food processor, combine the first set of ingredients and process them.  It should seem like a chunky paste.

Next, take a sheet of dough and lay it on top of the parchment.  With a brush, wipe coconut oil across the sheet.  Repeat this 9 times.

Before the next layer, spread about 1/2 of the nut mixture across the dough.  It may not smooth out perfectly because of the bourbon, which makes it sticky, but do your best.  

Add 10 more layers, brushing coconut oil between each one.  Spread a little less than 1/2 of the mixture on top of the dough - reserve a tablespoon or two for the very top.  Add the last 10 layers.

Brush coconut oil on top of the final layer of phyllo.  With a sharp knife, cut the dough into a grid, slicing the baklava in a diagonal pattern through the grid lines.

Bake it in the oven for about 20 minutes.

When it is done, pour the syrup on top and sprinkle the reserved nut mixture on top as well.

Enjoy this baklava with a cup of chai and dream about Christmas time!

Cheers,
-Aileen

This post is affiliated with Vegan Mofo.  Check out #VeganMoFo on social media for ideas and recipes during the month of September.