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Anybody shipped baklava as a gift?

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amy_wong Dec 8, 2010 05:57 AM

I'm thinking of mailing someone baklava, but don't know how to ship properly. I want to make sure that 1) the moisture doesn't seep out (use wax paper?); 2) mold doesn't grow; 3) baklava remains moist and 4) no spoilage. Will the amount of sugar be enough to act as preservative and mold-inhibitor? Thanks.

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  1. coll RE: amy_wong Dec 8, 2010 06:50 AM

    Why don't you just invest in a few disposable ice freezer bags and ship overnight. Then it will be as fresh as can be.

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      Krislady RE: amy_wong Dec 8, 2010 06:56 AM

      I used to ship baklava to my mother-in-law, right in little cookie tins. I'd stick the individual pieces of baklava in paper muffin liners and pack them in the tins. Cover with plastic wrap, right against the pastry, then the lid. I never had a problem with moisture or mold - and yes, the sugar/honey acts as a preservative. (I always made mine for the holidays on Thanksgiving weekend and left it, covered, until I assembled cookie trays.)

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        luniz RE: amy_wong Dec 8, 2010 08:38 AM

        I've never actually shipped baklava. I think wrapping with plastic wrap for shipping to keep them in place should be ok. I generally don't wrap them tightly in plastic wrap because the moisture enwettens (soggifies?) them but for a couple days, as long as you don't wrap them, hot, it should be ok. I've never ever seen moldy baklava in my life so I don't think you have to worry about that unless you're shipping them to the moon. As long as you use enough syrup I don't think you really have to worry about them drying out in an airtight-ish container, even if the tops dry out a little it doesn't hurt them imo (then again, I go after the edge pieces first). Krislady's method seems pretty reasonable to me.

        1. junglekitte RE: amy_wong Dec 8, 2010 12:15 PM

          Baklava is absolutely shippable. I've ordered baklava from Syria and Lebanon and it arrives perfect! :) The key is to not drown it in the syrup and to use clarified butter. Real baklava is lightly sweet, extremely buttery, and crisp- not sticky and syrupy like most American store bought kinds.
          Baklava also is best kept at room temperature.

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            amy_wong RE: amy_wong Dec 8, 2010 02:29 PM

            Thanks for the excellent suggestions and info. I'll use the muffin liners as individual containers, then put everything inside a freezer bag (so as not to soggify :) the lot) which will then go inside a cookie tin.

            Just FYI, I'll try

            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

            unless you can tempt me to use a superior recipe.

            4 Replies
            1. re: amy_wong
              junglekitte RE: amy_wong Dec 8, 2010 04:23 PM

              Google Claudia Roden's recipe. I really enjoyed hers, but backed off of the amount of syrup.

              The syrup I prefer is simple: sugar, water, dash of lemon, and perhaps a dash of orange blossom water. No spices, no honey, no corn syrup.

              If you take any advice from this that's what you need to know- COLD syrup poured over HOT baklava. :)

              1. re: junglekitte
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                luniz RE: junglekitte Dec 9, 2010 07:09 AM

                I also prefer less ingredients than the linked recipe. My syrup is 1 cup sugar into 1 cup water, with 1 stick cinnamon and possibly a dash of rose water for about 20 minutes (med-low heat). Definitely no honey. The lemon is optional, it keeps the sugar from crystallizing, which only happens if you stir too much...1 tsp should be plenty imo. I make the syrup the day/night before in order to let it cool in the fridge, like junglekitte says. And don't use almonds in the fililng, that's just a weird suggestion.

                My best advice is to give yourself time and space and relax because the phyllo dough can be a little messy and stressful to deal with (maybe that's just because I'm a guy). Keep the phyllo covered while working and work gently but steadily so it doesn't dry out.

              2. re: amy_wong
                chowser RE: amy_wong Dec 8, 2010 05:08 PM

                The mother of the owner of my gym makes huge amounts of baklava for the gym members (on a tray on the way out)--it must be hundreds and for a week, the tray is always full so they replenish as people take some. She puts each piece in a muffin liner and then puts it into a little plastic bag, well tied. She makes up the whole batch at once and they still taste great whenever we get them.

                1. re: chowser
                  junglekitte RE: chowser Dec 8, 2010 05:19 PM

                  Where is this gym? I want to join! :)

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                emilief RE: amy_wong Dec 8, 2010 03:29 PM

                Forget cloves, cardomom, corn syrup and honey. I am sure I posted my MIL recipe more than once- do a search. If you can't find it I will post - probably can't get to it until Friday. Yes, you do not want it dripping with syrup. combination of walnuts and sliced almonds is very good. Of course there are many types, but greeks never use any of those ingredients in baklava.

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