This is a recipe for the traditional Iranian baklava (baghlava) which I have reinvented and perfected over the last 30+ years. I simply went by taste and texture and kept trying out new approaches until I was happy with the results. I only make this once a year for the vernal equinox which rings in the Iranian new year. It took me about 10 years to come up with a recipe which I could be proud of.
WHO: cookingProf is an Iranian-born computer science professor in Oklahoma who finds cooking just as rewarding as teaching. (She also happens to be our assistant editor Nozlee's mother!)
WHAT: Baklava like you've never seen it before: the puff pastry, walnuts, and honey you're used to are swapped out for a flaky pie crust, almonds, and rose water.
HOW: The tightly packed filling of almonds and cardamom is frozen before baking so it slices cleanly into diamonds, and syrup is poured over the warm baklava after baking for maximum absorption.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The delicate flavors of rose water and cardamom make this treat welcome at dessert or with a simple cup of tea, and the finished diamonds are sturdy enough to pack for gifts or a picnic. —The Editors