Baklava, or Baklawa (Arabic), is a reigning champion of delectable delight in Middle Eastern cuisine—and, one of the richest pastries.

Warm flaky layers, perfectly seasoned walnuts, a homemade honey-syrup and crushed green pistachios.

A little piece of heaven wrapped in phyllo dough.

Maggie Ailabouni, owner and chef at Mazah Eatery in Columbus, prides herself on making foods with love, fresh ingredients and a whole lot of focus on family.

She has been serving Baklava to her “extended family” at the restaurant since 2009.

“Baklowa or Baklava is very popular across the Middle East and Mediterranean,” said Ailabouni. “It’s very simple, not too many ingredients… and it’s wonderful because anyone can make it.”

And Ailabouni is sharing her family recipe, along with each flaky and sweet detail of the dish.

“Grab yourself some coffee and enjoy,” she said.



Homemade Syrup

  • 2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 Tbs. Orange Blossom or Rose Water
  • Fresh Lemon Juice 

Nut Filling

  • 1/2 lb. Walnuts (or other nuts of your choosing)
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1-lb Fillo Dough (thawed)
  • 1 cup melted unsalted Butter

Additional Ingredients

  • Ground Pistachio for topping
  • Whole Clove for topping



Combine all ingredients except for fresh lemon juice into a small pot and let sit on medium-high heat, stirring often. Once it starts to boil add fresh lemon juice to the mixture, stir and turn of stove. Let it cool.

Nut Filling

Pulse walnuts in a food processor until it becomes either coarsely or finely ground. This is based on preference. Put ground walnuts in a bowl and mix in sugar and cinnamon. Put on the side until you need it.


-Pre-heat Oven to 325 degrees

-Choose a baking sheet that is about the same size as the phyllo dough that you're using. Start applying a generous layer of butter to the bottom and sides of the baking sheet. If you have a sauce brush, it makes this process a lot easier to do.

-Start layering each phyllo dough sheet and buttering each sheet. Once you've done half of your sheets, stop and add a layer of the ground walnuts, making sure that it covers the entire sheet evenly.

-Add the remaining sheets of phyllo dough by doing the same process of buttering and layering.

-On the last sheet of Phyllo dough, make sure that the top of it is completely buttered as well. (If you need more butter, it wouldn't hurt to add a bit more :) )

-Cut the pieces of baklava out depending on how big you'd like them to be. 

*Optional: Insert a whole clove (pointy side first) through the center of each piece of baklava (the clove is not meant to be eaten, but simply added for both decoration and flavor).

-Bake for about 45 minutes or until it's golden brown. This depends on the type of oven and also how hot the temperature is.

-Remove from oven and immediately add syrup by the ladlefull onto the baklava. It should sizzle a bit when you're doing this. The amount of syrup you add depends on how sweet you'd like the baklava to be.

*Optional: Top each piece of Baklava with a bit of ground pistachio.