• Barth Bakery

Baklava Cookie Bars

Updated: Mar 17

If you love baklava, you’ll love this easy-to-make, less time consuming version. A twist on traditional baklava, these bars feature a soft shortbread cookie crust layered with spiced nuts and flaky phyllo, and drizzled with a sweet orange-honey syrup. With hints of citrus and an aromatic spice blend, this alternate take on baklava is rich, gooey, nutty, sweet, and salty all in one delicious dessert.






Ingredients

Shortbread Cookie Crust

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp fresh orange zest

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • ¼ tsp baking soda

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Spiced Nut Topping

  • ⅔ cup pecans, chopped

  • ⅔ cup walnuts, chopped

  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves

  • ⅛ tsp ground allspice

  • ⅛ tsp salt

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

  • 6 phyllo dough sheets, thawed

  • 4 Tbsp salted butter, melted

Orange-Honey Syrup

  • ⅓ cup honey

  • 3 Tbsp water

  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar

  • 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice


Directions

Shortbread Cookie Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with enough parchment paper to overhang on the edges.

  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars, until light and creamy, about 5 minutes on high speed. Add in the vanilla, orange zest, and egg and mix until well combined.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until incorporated. Use your fingers to press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 14 to 16 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and just set.

Spiced Nut Topping

  1. While the crust bakes, make the spiced nut topping. Combine the pecans, walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and salt in a small bowl and mix well. Add in the softened unsalted butter and stir until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is coarse and crumbly. (I used my fingers to evenly mix in the butter.) Evenly spread the nut mixture on top of the half-baked crust.

  2. Lay one sheet of phyllo dough on a cutting board and brush to the edges with the melted salted butter. Layer with another sheet of phyllo and brush with more melted butter. Continue until all 6 phyllo sheets have been used. Then cut the pile of butter layered phyllo sheets into thin strips. Evenly sprinkle the phyllo strips on top of the nut mixture.

  3. Place the baking pan back in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and flaky.

Orange-Honey Syrup

  1. While the bars finish baking, make the syrup. Combine the honey, water, sugar, and orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer until it reaches a syrup consistency, about 5 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.

  2. Once finished baking, remove the bars from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack. While hot, evenly drizzle the syrup over the bars. Allow the bars to cool completely in the pan. Once completely cooled, lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper and place on a cutting board. Cut the bars into triangles with a sharp knife. (You may want to refrigerate the pan so the bars harden slightly to make them easier to cut.)

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