The first time I made this, it was a total disaster, but I was trying to experiment. Needless to say, we’ve eaten a lot of baklava lately while I’ve been perfecting this, but I think I’ve just about got it right. FOLLOW THE DAMN DIRECTIONS and you, too, can make perfect, easy baklava!
First, melt the sugar in a saucepan with just enough water to melt the sugar and turn it into a paste. Continue adding water and cooking until you have a sugar syrup. DO NOT LET IT BECOME CARAMEL.
Pour 2 - 3 T of the melted butter into the bottom of your pan and spread. Put down 8 layers of phyllo. Sprinkle a layer of the nut and spice mixture and then drizzle the sugar syrup over that. Finish it off with a little of the melted butter and add 4 more layers of phyllo. Continue doing this until you reach the end of your phyllo, ending with 6 layers instead of 4. Drizzle the top with the remaining vegan butter.
Score the baklava (cutting the top but not all the way to the bottom, just to give yourself a template for cutting it once its been baked thoroughly). Make 4 cuts from top to bottom, making 4 even rows lengthwise. Then cut crosswise all the way down, making a triangle at the top and bottom and the rest should be diamonds.
Bake at 300 for about an hour, maybe an extra 15 or 20 minutes. It should be golden brown on top and puffy. Allow to cool for several hours or even overnight, then cut the pieces where you scored them.
Pull the pieces out and place on a serving platter. Now you've got some damn good vegan baklava!