Bakery-Style Baklava


3 cups chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks European-style unsalted butter, melted, divided (see Note)
1/2 (16-ounce) package frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1/2 stick European-style butter (see Note)
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon; set aside. Brush a thin layer of butter over the bottom of a 9- x 13-inch baking dish.

2.Unroll the phyllo dough sheets onto a flat surface. Remove one sheet of phyllo and place in bottom of baking dish, trimming, if necessary, to fit. Brush lightly with butter. Repeat with 6 more sheets, then sprinkle half the nut mixture over the phyllo. Place a sheet of phyllo over nut mixture and lightly brush with butter. Repeat 4 more times. Sprinkle remaining nut mixture over phyllo, then layer with 7 more sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter.

3.Using a sharp knife, cut the unbaked baklava on the diagonal in a diamond pattern before baking 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

4.In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine Syrup ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour evenly over baklava. Let sit 2 to 4 hours, or until completely cooled, before serving.