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Bahlawa (Layered Dessert)

  • 1 lb. filo dough, thawed (about 20 sheets)
  • 1 lb. pecans
  • 4 T. sugar
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 tsp. orange water (optional)
  • 1 recipe syrup*
  • 1 lb. drawn butter


  • 3 c. sugar
  • 2 1/4 c. water
  • 1 tsp. orange water (optional)
  • 2 T. lemon juice

Make syrup by boiling water and sugar in a saucepan until it registers 229 degrees on a candy thermometer. Add orange water and lemon juice and remove the pan from heat. Cook and strain.

Note: To prepare butter, melt it slowly over the lowest flame possible about one, hour or until it becomes clear. As it melts, skim all white foam (salt) from the top carefully. Do not let the butter become brown. Strain and allow to cool.

Grind pecans and mix with sugar and 1 T. butter; add orange water.

Brush a 10x13” baking pan with butter. Brush each sheet of filo with butter and layer one on top of the other. Halfway through, instead of buttering the layer, place the nut mixture in a thick layer. Then continue layering buttered filo on top of filling. Top with two that have no butter.

Score diagonally into diamonds, each with 4 two-inch sides. Bake for one hour, or until the color is light, golden brown.

Remove from the oven and drizzle 2 c. of cool syrup slowly to saturate pastry, especially over the scoring. When cool, finish cutting into serving size pieces.

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