Coconut Pecan Baklava
Coconut Pecan Baklava – Layers of Phyllo dough, sandwiched with coconut-pecan filling, sweetened and held together with vanilla flavored-lemon syrup. Buttery, sweet and nutty.
Baklava is sweet, rich pastry, made with layers of phyllo dough, filled with nuts and sweetened with sugar syrup or honey. It is a staple of the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire countries.
I’m not an expert on baklava, many things could be said, about the correct way to make it, you guys feel free to research other recipes and get another opinion if it is your first time planning to make it. I’m sure tons of variations for this recipe could be found. And of course, there is nothing wrong it, it is great that different people are able and willing to adapt such a recipe to their taste and can use the ingredients they have.
And since baklava is very popular on the Balkans (Balkan peninsula, SoutheastEurope), pretty much every country or region there has its own way of making this sweet treat. I could tell you how people in Bulgaria make it, because I was born there and know the recipe well. Bulgarians use just walnuts for the baklava filling and add the cooled syrup to the baked baklava, after it has cooled to a room temperature. It is also a popular dessert around Christmas there.
This is not a traditional baklava, this is just a recipe I’ve tried and really like. I’ve read in books that acceptable fillings for baklava are: almonds, pistachios or walnuts, but I usually use walnuts or pecans. You probably won’t find coconut in traditional baklava, but I love the flavor it brings, that’s why I added it to this recipe.
Baklava could be sweetened with honey or simple syrup, I usually use simple syrup and add lemon juice or vanilla extract to it.
Although I have another recipe for richer, very delicious rolled baklava (you fill the Phyllo and roll it), I decided to share this layered baklava recipe first. Stay in touch for my rolled baklava recipe, which I’m planning to share in the near future.
This coconut pecan baklava is buttery, sweet and flavorful. You could enjoy it with a cup of strong coffee or tea. Once made, this coconut pecan baklava could be stored at room temperature in air-tight container for up to a week or refrigerated for up to 3 weeks. Keep in mind that it might dry a little too much, if stored in the fridge. In this case you could add some more syrup.
Phyllo dough could be found in any well stocked supermarket in the us.
I like to use a sheet pan for baklava, but any large pan of your choice would work great.
I hope you like the recipe! It very simple, straight forward and takes 45 minutes to make.
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- 12 Phyllo sheets
- 1 (113 gr /4 oz) stick butter
- 3 cups chopped pecans (walnuts)
- 1 cup shredded coconut ( I used unsweetened)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 tbsp milk (optional)
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Combine water and sugar in a sauce pan and bring to s boil. Lower heat, simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and squeeze in lemon juice. Add vanilla. Let syrup cool to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Line sheet pan with aluminum foil (15x10 inch). Lightly grease and set a side.
- Melt butter.
- In a bowl combine pecans, shredded coconut, sugar and milk (optional).
- Brush tops of 3 sheets of Phyllo with butter and layer them in the pan. Add 1/3 of coconut-pecan mixture and spread it. Repeat brushing 3 more sheets, adding 1/3 of filling and do it one more time. Top with the last 3 sheets of Phyllo.
- Using a sharp knife, cut it into squares (or diamond pattern). Sprinkle some cold water (2-3 tbsp) on top before baking.
- Bake baklava for 20-25 minutes, until golden.
- Take out of the oven and let it cool completely.
- Pour cool syrup on top of completely cool.
- Let is stand at room temperature for 6-8 hours, to absorb the syrup and soften, before serving.