Bacon Baklava with Bourbon Honey Syrup

Bacon Baklava with Bourbon Honey Syrup Great to Make Ahead

Baklava copy


There are single subject books and genre focused; books centering on technique or a region. Very rarely do we come across a book dedicated to two ingredients. Two ingredients that harmonize so well it just seems like one of those light-bulb moments when you discover the collection. When I received a copy of Southern Living Bourbon & BaconI had such a moment. I love these flavors together and Morgan Murphy has written a book, roughly divided in half, where each of these ingredients is explored in depth. The recipes range from beverages to appetizers, side dishes, mains and desserts. Some combine both bourbon and bacon in one dish while other recipes focus on one or the other. This Bacon Baklava with Bourbon Honey Syrup uses both to their best advantage. The bacon adds salt and meatiness to the sweet pecan/pistachio filling, while the bourbon complements the honey and lemon syrup perfectly. Throw in the flaky, buttery layers of phyllo, a pinch of cinnamon and you have an explosion of textures and flavors. Make sure to also check out the Two-Bite Bourbon and Coke Cakes, also from the book.


Excerpted with permission. Southern Living Bourbon & Baconby Morgan Murphy. Published by Oxmoor House 2014.

Adding pecans, bacon, and bourbon to a treasured dessert from the Ottoman Empire puts me on the infidel list for sure.


TOTAL: 4 Hr., 20 MIN.

Bacon Baklava with Bourbon Honey Syrup
Makes: 24 servings
  • 3 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup pistachios
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 12/3 cups sugar, divided
  • ¾ cup cooked and crumbled bacon slices
  • 1 (16-oz.) package frozen phyllo pastry, thawed
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup honey
  • 1 (4- x 2-inch) lemon peel strip
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Process first 3 ingredients and ⅔ cup sugar in a food processor until the texture of coarse meal. Add bacon; pulse 3 times.
  2. Place 2 phyllo sheets in bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan. Brush well with melted butter. Repeat with 10 sheets, brushing with butter between every 2 sheets. Sprinkle half of nut mixture (about 21/2 cups) over phyllo. Repeat phyllo layering with 12 sheets, brushing with butter between every 2 sheets. Sprinkle with remaining nut mixture. Top with 15 sheets, brushing with butter between every 2 sheets. Brush top with butter. Using a sharp knife, score baklava into 11/2-inch squares. Bake at 325° for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 300°, and bake 50 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile, combine 1 cup water, honey, next 3 ingredients, and remaining 1 cup sugar in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes. Strain mixture into a 1-qt. glass measuring cup. Stir in bourbon; cool completely (about 1 hour).
  4. Pour syrup evenly over baked baklava. Cool to room temperature. Cover loosely with foil; let stand at room temperature at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.


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