The current trend of bacon bacon bacon got me thinking. Everyone knows the salty, smoky, rich flavor of bacon goes great with the addition of a heavy sweetness like brown sugar or molasses. I was more curious than anything else in developing this sweet and bacony baklava!
1Thaw the phyllo at room temperature for 2 hours. Cut in half crosswise to get sheets approximately 9x13 to fit the baking pan. Keep the phyllo covered at all times with waxed paper and a damp tea towel to keep it from drying out.
2Lightly butter the bottom of a 9x13 cake pan. Place one sheet of the phyllo in pan and brush carefully with melted butter. Add 7 more sheets, brushing each with butter.
3In a bowl, combine the walnuts, pecans, bacon and the 3/4 cup sugar. Mix well. Sprinkle 1 cup evenly over the pastry in the pan. Drizzle with some melted butter.
4Top with 4 sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter. Sprinkle another cup of nut-bacon mixture, drizzle butter.
5Repeat the 4-sheet / nut mixture / drizzle routine 4 more times. Place the remaining 8 sheets of pastry on top, brushing each with melted butter.
6With a sharp knife, cut diagonally, cutting to but not through the bottom layer. Continue cutting at about 1-inch spacing until you have approximately 48 diamond-shaped pieces.
7Bake 1 hour at 325º. Remove from oven; finish cutting diamonds; cool thoroughly.
8When pastry is cooled, prepare the syrup in a saucepan, combining the 2 cups sugar, the water, honey, lemon juice and cinnamon sticks. Boil gently for 15 minutes. Remove cinnamon, stir well.
9Pour warm syrup evenly over cooled pastry. Cool completely. Store loosely covered at room temperature.