Countdown to Thanksgiving – Debbie Conliffe

SlingShot Connections VP of Government Solutions, Debbie Conliffe shares her grandmother’s authentic Armenian recipe, a hit at every gathering!

My favorite recipe is Paklava.  My friends love when I make this special desert because it is so yummy and different. I use my grandmother’s recipe so it is authentic.  It is funny because my girls love Thanksgiving even though they don’t like most of the food.  My oldest is a vegetarian and will only eat sweet potatoes, salad and bread on Thanksgiving and my little one only likes steak.  Its’ funny though how much they can’t wait for the day.  Maybe it’s because we get together with all of the family and that is really special!


  • 10 Large Sheet Dough
  • 1 lb chopped nuts
  • 2 1/2 lbs unsalted butter


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 c water

Cut wax paper the size of your large baking pan. When you have the first stack of five dough sheets ready lay the wax paper over it and cut the same size four times. Place each stack of five pieces in the buttered pan and brush top with melted butter. Add next stack of dough, brush it with butter again, now sprinkle chopped walnuts. Continue same way, buttering every fifth layer and sprinkling nuts every tenth later. Arrange left over odd pieces of dough in layers in pan. Arrange left over odd pieces of dough in layers in pan. Next, roll out the remaining 5 balls and repeat the process. You will have about 50 layers.

Before baking, cut dough in pan diagonally about 1-1/2 inches apart, to make diamond shaped pieces. Pour a little of the heated butter on each diamond and bake in 350 oven for 15 minutes. Then pull out pan half way from oven and pour the rest of the butter, this time very hot but not burned, on each diamond. Bake again for 25-30 minutes until pink.

When pan is out of oven, drain as much butter as possible. Then remove one piece from the corner. Leave the pan in a tilted position for 15 minutes and keep removing the excess butter. Then add the lukewarm syrup to the lukewarm paklava in the pan.