What To Keep In Mind When Choosing The Best Nuts For Baklava

Whether you're a dessert enthusiast or only just dabble in sweets, you've likely encountered baklava in at least one form. This flaky pastry comes sweet and layered and is most traditionally filled with chopped nuts. Sound like a simple definition? Well, not quite. 

Baklava's open-ended description means plenty of opportunities for innovation, so making — nevertheless just buying — baklava isn't exactly a straightforward feat. Yet contrary to mainstream perception, not all baklavas are the same. Baklava comes in a slew of shapes and sizes, from pistachio, chocolate, and hazelnut versions to baklavas that are rolled, stacked, or cubed. 

This pastry truly does it all — a blessing or a curse, depending on your baking preferences. If you're the kind of baker plagued by the paradox of choice, choosing a baklava filling can prove stressful. Pistachios are one of the pastry's more classic fillings, but you don't have to choose them. If that much variety sounds intimidating, simply start with your favorite nuts.

Choose nuts based on your preference

When it comes to choosing the ideal nuts for your baklava, let your tastes guide you and choose which nuts you want to shine in this dessert. At their core, baklava fillings come down to both preferences as well as your budget. For example, certain nuts, like those traditional pistachios, come pricier than others, whereas others, like pecans, are typically easier on the wallet when it comes to adding a bunch to your recipe.

Are you a fan of all things Nutella? Go ahead and crush some hazelnuts for some added crunch and sweeter, rich flavor. If you want a more earthy taste, chop up some walnuts or almonds instead for a less sweet baked treat. Or, better yet, combine your favorite nuts and grind them up for a decadent flavorful filling. To take your baklava to the next level, you can also take the extra step to toast your nuts before adding them to your filling. With a drizzle of butter and thin, flaky filo, any nut filling is bound to taste delicious.