So.... today is the Christmas Luncheon at work, and I am supposed to bring a dessert. A few people told me that last year, everyone brought pie, and the year before, everyone brought cookies. It was no surprise that the lady coordinating it stressed diversity this year. I decided right then and there to make a tray of baqlawa - its not expensive, its quick and easy, its delicious, and the leftovers will stay really well until I can serve them at my own Christmas dinner. She asked me what I was bringing the other day, and when I told her "baklava" (I always use the Greek term for it since it is the most recognizable to folks), she didn't have a clue and looked at me kind of strangely. I explained what it was, and she seemed a little dubious but told me that diversity was what she was after. That made me wonder if it would be well received by the rank and file at the DOL. I hope so...... I hope that they are willing to step outside their same-old, same-old and at least give something new a try.
Anyway, last night I made it, and it came out well. This is maybe the fourth or fifth time that I've made baqlawa since I moved into my new house, and each time, its gotten a little browner than I care for. I guess that the oven isn't calibrated perfectly. I don't have difficulty with other baked goods, but the other things I've baked have not been as delicate as phyllo dough, either. It is times like this that I really miss my father -- he would have immediately recalibrated the oven for me. I guess I'll have to buy a new oven thermometer since the old one got lost in the move.
I won't repost the recipe, since I've done it before, but I will tell you the changes I made this time. I used a half pound of phyllo dough, 1 pound of sweet butter clarified and 1 pound of walnuts. My plan was to bake it at 325F for 60 minutes and then check it, but at the 45 minute mark, it was smelling a little toasty, so I checked it and found that it was done.
Wish me luck today! I hope the good folks at the DOL at least try it!