I made these super-easy baklava-inspired cookies a few weeks ago for FlailKef and GingerKef’s annual Oscars Party.
In a tribute to my dear friends’ brilliant yearly invitation, I give you the following write up:
Many people think that FENCES exist to delineate those who enjoy working with filo dough and those who would prefer to find themselves on a HACKSAW RIDGE rather than deal with all those layers. If you are among the latter, this recipe is for you! Immediately upon ARRIVAL at this Oscar Party, people came out like a LION for these cookies, which have all the syrupy, nutty goodness of baklava and none of the flimsy filo. MrKef was determined that I make them full of gluten and full of sugar, so rather than let the nutritional info send you into LALA LAND, I’ll keep those stats in my HIDDEN FIGURES file COME HELL OR HIGHWATER. The great reviews of these cookies sent me happily into the MOONLIGHT, still not giving one flying eff about MANCHESTER BY THE SEA.
Translation: these cookies are awesome and easy, full of gluten and sugar, and everyone really liked them. Oh, and I still hate Boston. Inspiration here, full recipe below.
For the Crust
- 1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 c sugar
- 1/4 c light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 1.5 c flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 c pecans, chopped
- 1/3 c almonds, chopped
- 1/4 c light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- generous 1/8 tsp cloves
- generous 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 2 TBS unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 c honey
- 3 TBS water
- 2 TBS fresh orange juice
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a rimmed metal baking dish with parchment paper (I used my square tart pan- the pan from a toaster oven would probably work too). Combine melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and orange zest until combined (I used standing mixer, but I am sure you could do this by hand). Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl, then add to butter mixture and fold in until incorporated. Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared pan and bake for 15-16 minutes, until lightly golden and center is set.
- Prepare topping while crust bakes. Combine nuts and spices in a small bowl; add melted butter and stir until incorporated. Spoon topping evenly over warm crust (which has just finished its initial 15-16 min bake), then return pan to oven. Continue baking for an additional 10- 12 minutes, or until golden.
- Make the syrup during the second baking session. Bring to a boil the honey, water, and orange juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Turn heat down to low and simmer until thickened and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for ~10 minutes.
- Place pan on a wire rack and spoon syrup over still-warm cookies, tilting pan in all directions to coat evening. Cool bars completely in pan. Cut with a sharp knife when ready to serve.