1 lb. phyllo dough sheets, thawed in refrigerator overnight
1 1/2 cups sugar
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1 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup honey
3 (2-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. whole cloves
Zest of I large orange (removed with a vegetable peeler)
1 tablespoon rose water
4 cups finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup butter, melted
Makes 30 pieces.
Syrup: In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients for syrup except for the rose water. Place over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature. Strain syrup, discarding solids. Stir in rose water.
Baklava: Combine filling and set aside. Open phyllo from package and lay out in a single stack. Cover entirely with plastic wrap. (NOTE: Phyllo must be covered at all times to keep from drying out.) Using a pastry brush, coat the bottom and the sides of a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan with melted butter.
Place a sheet of phyllo in the bottom of the pan, brush lightly with melted butter. Repeat with another 11 sheets, brushing with butter between each sheet. Evenly distribute half of the filling over the buttered sheets of phyllo. Repeat with 12 more sheets of phyllo, brushing with butter between each sheet.
Evenly distribute remaining filling over buttered phyllo. Again, repeat with 12 more sheets of phyllo, brushing with butter between each sheet. Chill for 10 minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut through all layers into 15 squares. Cut each square diagonally in half, again cutting through all of the layers. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Just before baking, lightly sprinkle the top of the baklava with water (this inhibits the pastry from curling.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven. Drizzle the cooled syrup over the hot baklava. Let cool for at least 4 hours. Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.