Baklava is a dessert I grew up eating in all of it's forms. My favorite was always the creamy cashew, with pistachio coming in a close second. Having some Arabic heritage is something I've always been so proud of. I still remember my grandfather snacking on dates, nuts, and dried apricots constantly. A few years ago I made him a tray of baklava using his mother's recipe and he was thrilled. Since then, I've made this delectable treat over and over. This version with dates is exceptional. Sweet and buttery just like the traditional, with a combination of walnuts, pistachio, and chopped dates creates a creamy texture with lots of crunch. It's warm, homey, and addicting (don't say I didn't warn you) —Karlie Kashat
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 aluminum baking pan with a generous amount of the melted butter.
Spread phyllo dough out on the counter, cut it in half so it will fit in baking pan. Place half of phyllo dough in baking pan. Tuck the corners and sides in if they are overextended.
Combine 1 cup chopped pistachios, 1 cup chopped walnuts, and 1 cup chopped dates with cardamom, vanilla extract, and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Spread mixture over the phyllo dough evenly.
Place the other half of phyllo dough over top, again tucking in the corners under.
Use a sharp knife to cut 7-8 equal rows lengthwise and then cut diagonally to make diamond shapes (should result in about 30 pieces depending on your size).
Now pour the remaining melted butter evenly over the dish making sure it gets into the sides and edges.
Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden brown. Let it completely cool.
While cooling, prepare Sheera syrup by adding water and honey to a medium sauce pan over high heat about 5 minutes until well combined. Remove from heat and add rose water. Stir. Pour over cooled baklava while syrup is still hot. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup crushed pistachios.