CNYEats A Taste of Utica Rolled Baklava

by Joanne on November 4, 2012

I might be a week late with this but that doesn’t mean I’m a week behind. SmileI’m still baking like crazy from A Taste of Utica cook book and eating up all the goodies.  But first…CNY2NYC:  The 26.2 (or less) mile run in Utica along the canal trail. 

photo (1)

The CNY2NYC run was a last minute call to action by a couple of local runners who were suppose to run their life long dream of going the distance in the NYC Marathon.  As you know by now, it was cancelled and there has been much to-do about it.  My feelings?  I don’t know how or why they didn’t cancel early in the week.  Whose to blame? That doesn’t matter now. The effort is all out for getting aide to folks who need it and rebuilding in the aftermath of devastation. 

The CNY2NYC asked but did not require a $20 donation for the Red Cross. Runners, walkers and supporters met at 8 AM by the start of the canal trail to run a distance of their choice. If the runner was scheduled to run NYC, then 26.2 miles was the goal.  If not but still wanted to run for the recovery effort, then something less was the goal.  With the help of Mike Brych of  ATCendurance  the trail was marked, Red Cross was on hand, a tent was set up and food and water was available for runners at the end. The result when Ted and I finished was approximately 100 people showed up and many contributed more than the $20 requested. People who didn’t even participate showed up just to drop off support funds. What a success!

Ted and I ran 6.2 miles. Since I wanted to run close to 16 miles today but also wanted to run the Canal with other folk, I went out early to cover the Switchbacks and ran 9 miles.  I didn’t realize how well organized this spur of the moment canal run would be or I would have done my entire training run along the canal. 

Here’s to Beth and Kristy on their wonderful idea to get this event going AND on their successful 26.2 mile Canal Trail Marathon

As for the poor dogs who could have come with us but were just too burned out from Saturdays events:  Shane ran 6 1/2 with me. Zoey forced me to run a fast finish over a mile and half for 8.1 miles total on Saturday.  Then Zoey and I headed out to beginner training class at PetSmart. 

This was the scene in our house by 6 pm.

Dog tired2

Dog tired1


Now for the CNYEats A Taste of Utica Baklava recipe.  It’s like candy. 

*Fun fact:  What do about 41% of adults do on October 31? What do about 90% of adults do on November 1st?  (Not quite sure of the percentages but they’re “round – about”)  ANSWER:  Steal their kids candy.   Did anyone else hear that on NPR today?

Baklava, a flaky pastry filled with honey, nuts and spice, has been one of my favorite treats since I was 8 years old.

CNYEats Baklava1

My history with Baklava

When I was 8 years old, we lived in North Reading, Massachusetts. Our neighbor had a son and daughter closer to my sister’s age and they would very often hang out together.  I wasn’t always welcome to join in with the older kids but I was always welcome in our neighbors home.  Mrs. Frangos knew how I loved sweets.  Her daughter would tell us when her mother made that delicious dessert we couldn’t get enough of called Baklava.  We would only be allowed one piece but craved so much more.   I remember how Mrs. Frangos cut the Baklava into small triangles and how the honey coated treat would be so sticky and get all over my lips and fingers.  When we moved from North Reading, I never thought I’d ever taste Baklava again.

CNYEats Baklava2

Along came Ted.  Ted and I went on our first date at the beginning of December, years ago.  Our relationship was in it’s infancy when the holiday season rolled around and it was the first time my parents would meet my future husband.  When Ted walked into our house  his arms were filled with gifts and goodies, I couldn’t believe it as he set a tray of Baklava on the counter.  I had DEFINITELY met my soul mate.

Now when you enjoy baking as much as I do, you can’t go very long without searching recipes to reveal your all time favorites.  I’ve made many a baklava recipe by now but I’ve never made the Utica style Rolled Baklava.  Here it is. You’re in for  such a treat.

CNYEats Baklava4

Posted by Jeanann Murphy

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely ground almonds (7 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely ground walnuts (7 oz)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 14 sheets fillo (phyllo) dough
  • 2 cups cool Honey Syrup (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Combine nuts and cinnamon in medium bowl. Set aside

Place a sheet of phyllo dough on flat work surface and brush with melted butter. Fold the long side in to form a 9 1/2 x 15 inch rectangle.  Brush folded edges with butter. Place a 2nd piece of dough over the first and gather like a curtain to fit inside rectangle. Brush with butter.

Sprinkle 3 TBS of the nut mix over the bottom 1/3 of the phyllo rectangle.  Fold dough over to cover nuts.  Brush with butter. Spread 1/4 cup nuts in a 1 inch wide line parallel to, and about 1” from the edge of the pastry.  Fold over once to cover nuts.  Roll like a cigar almost to the end.  Fold in ragged edges, brush them with butter.  Finish rolling and fold ends under. Place seam side down in prepared pan.  Brush with butter. Repeat with remaining dough and filling, laying each roll next to the other so they are touching.  Cut rolls cross wise into 21 pieces total (drag knife through a second time to assure a clean cut).

Transfer to the oven and bake for 1 hour to 1 hr. 15 min. or until crust and nuts are golden.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Pour cooled honey syrup over pastry.  The rolls will float.  Allow the baklava to sit until liquid is absorbed and nuts are saturated. This takes about 30 minutes.

*Making rolled Baklava is a bit more difficult than simply forming triangles. If this is your first time making this honey coated dessert, I would suggest simply lining a prepared baking dish (with 2” sides, 9 x 13) with 1 phyllo sheet, brush on butter, another phyllo sheet, brush with butter and a third phyllo sheet and butter. Sprinkle on nuts. Repeat ending with 3 layers of phyllo dough on top.  Then you simply cut into squares or triangles. Bake and coat with honey syrup as described in the rest of the rolled recipe.

CNYEats Baklava3

Honey Syrup (3 cups)

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice plus zest from 1/2 of the lemon
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 TBS honey

Combine sugar with 2 cups water in a small pan. Stir to dissolve. Add lemon juice, zest, cinnamon to pan. Place over medium high heat and cook to 221 – 225 degrees on a candy thermometer. Add honey and stir to combine.

Lick your lips, lick your fingers, then grab another. What the hey! You only live once…or maybe not depending on your beliefs. Smile

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  • At 2012.11.04 15:19, CCU said:

    Haha no wonder you were tired my friend, what an awesome run 😀
    You deserve to relax with these tasty treats!

    Choc Chip Uru

    • At 2012.11.04 19:57, claudia @whats cookin italian cuisine said:

      Now yours looks amazing …. I am not a fan its all too sweet for me and I am not a sweets eater at all… even drink my coffee black… but after reading the post I may have to try a piece of this again sometime to see if maybe I have changed my mind in my old age… they look amazingly delicious!

      • At 2012.11.05 08:57, Ali @ Peaches and Football said:

        Wow that baklava looks dangerous. I think I should quickly put it out of my mind or I’ll be in trouble. NO willpower I tell you!

        I’ve been hearing about how many running groups re-organized race events to raise money for Sandy victims and still get some kind of running in. Sounds like a lot of good was done and people who were unable to run the NYCM still felt good about the situation. I’m not sure why they didn’t cancel earlier either … oh well.

        • At 2012.11.05 15:29, All That I'm Eating said:

          I’ve always wanted to try making baklava; you’ve inspired me!

          • At 2012.11.06 06:22, Sherry Townsend said:

            Will be sure to try making that. It looks really yummy. Thanks a lot for sharing.

            • At 2012.11.06 11:55, Nancy Jean said:

              THAT looks amazing! I went with a Greek boy from age 17-21 and his house always smelled wonderful. His grandmother (Yia Yia) lived with them and cooked incessantly – and boy, she was terrific! You’ve brought back some lovely memories of her baklava, moussaka, pasticio (my fav, greek mac&cheese) and avgolemono soup.
              Sweet story of you & Ted.

              • At 2012.11.08 17:48, Alma said:

                That might be really delicious! I want to give your recipe a try, my hubby would be so glad about that surprise!

                • At 2012.11.30 17:22, Beth said:

                  Could I be any later in commenting here?? Thanks so much for coming out – seeing you along the course was like seeing a celebrity! Funny how blogs can make you feel like you “know” someone you don’t know IRL! Thank you again!!

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