Walnut Baklava with Cinnamon Rose Syrup

2 Lbs Walnuts
3 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 Package Phyllo, Filo, or Fillo  Dough (Found in Freezer)
4 Tbsp Fine White Sugar
2 Cups Butter, Melted

2 Cups Fine White Sugar
2 Cups Water
1/4 Cup Rose Water
1 Cinnamon Stick

Cooking Brush
12x12 / 10x12 / 12x14 Baking Pan
  1. Start by removing phyllo dough from the freezer and defrosting at room temperature for about 1 hour.  Do not try to quickly defrost by placing in microwave, this will ruin the filo dough.
  2. For walnut center filling:  In a large blender/chopper, place walnuts, cinnamon, and 4 tbsp sugar and chop choarsely.
  3. In a non-stick pot, add all the ingredients for the syrup - EXCEPT cinnamon stick - and cook on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.  Once the sugar is dissolved, turn the heat to low, add the cinnamon stick, standing vertically sticking up, and cook for an additional 10 minutes so the cinnamon flavor is absorbed in the syrup.  Discard cinnamon stick and remove syrup from heat.  Let cool completely.
  4. In your baking pan, cut a large piece of foil so that it will cover the bottom of the baking pan and later the top of the baklava.  Or just cut two pices to cover the top and bottom of the baking pan.  Grease your the bottom/foil.  Start by taking 1-2 sheets at a time of the phyllo dough and placing it into the baking pan.  Most times the phyllo dough is cut into square sheets and it will say on the package the cut size.  Most common in 10x12 or 10x10 which is why you want your baking pan to be the same size so additional cutting isn't required.  If it is required, do not use knife.  Use kitchen sheers.
  5. With each piece of the phyllo dough you lay down, cover the entire sheet with butter by using the cooking brush.  This is what gives baklava that golden look.  Repeat per 1-2 sheets.
  6. Once about 1/4 the sheets have been placed in the pan and buttered. add 1/3 of the walnut filling and spread evenly with a spoon.
  7. Then repeat by topping with phyllo dough and buttering each layer until 5 additional layers have been placed on top of the filling.  Add 1/3 of the filling and spread evenly with spoon.  Repeat by additing another 5 layers of phyllo and adding the remainder of the walnut filling.  Then top with additional phyllo dough, buttering each piece.
  8. Cover with foil and place in the over for about 20-25 minutes or until the phyllo dough has risen slightly and is completely golden.
  9. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  This could take a few hours.  Make sure the baklava has complete cooled.
  10. Add all or desired amount of syrup over top.  Cut in squares or diagonals and serve immediately.
  11. To store, cover in foil and place at room temperature, not in the fridge.

It may look like a lot of steps but mainly I just wanted to walk you through it if you're making it the first time.  IF you make this once it'll become so easy to you you'll want to make it all the time for large crowds paticularly because one tray serves over 20 people and you can even make it 1-2 days ahead.

This is a VERY sweet pastry.  Serve with tea or coffee for dessert.

Serves 24-28.