First, I like to make sure the nuts are dehydrated, so I warm raw almonds, pecans, walnuts and pistachios at 200F for 20 minutes.
While they're warming, alternately layer butter and sheets of phyllo dough - 10 layers of dough in total.
Coarsely grind the nuts and add them on top of the phyllo dough. Although it's common to add another layer of dough and nuts, I prefer just the single layer. An additional layer can get extra soggy.
Top with a dozen layers of buttered dough. Cut in squares *before* baking - and be sure to trim up the sides (don't leave the sloppy edges like I did). Bake at 350F for ~30 minutes.
While it's in the oven, prepare the syrup. There are two options. Both are tasty, but distinct: rose water, very floral and strong; orange blossom water, much lighter but still floral. Star Kay White Orange Blossom Water, 2.0 Ounce Star Kay White Rose Water, 2.0 Ounce
Boil sugar, water, cinnamon, cloves and a flavouring.
When the baklava is done baking, allow it to cool for a minute or so. Pour over the syrup until it's saturated - but not sloppy.
Let sit for at least an hour. I let it sit overnight. Not much better than fresh baklava with the morning coffee.
Sugar overload! ... but nuts are healthy, right?