baklava cookie bars

Baklava cookie bars are a scrumptious twist on traditional baklava, and far less time-consuming than layering temperamental phyllo dough. A soft cookie crust is baked until lightly golden, then layered with a spiced nut topping and baked once more until golden and fragrant. Once out of the oven, the bars are drizzled with honey-orange syrup, and then left to cool (obviously the most torturous part of the process!).

Baklava Cookie Bars

With warming spices, a hint of citrus, and that decadent honeyed nut topping, it’s easy to see why these golden baklava cookie bars are as utterly addictive as their namesake.

Baklava Cookie Bars

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Baklava Cookie Bars

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Nut Topping

  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/3 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Syrup

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp fresh orange juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with parchment paper. Whisk together melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and orange zest until combined. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; add to butter mixture and fold in until incorporated. Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared pan and bake crust for 15 to 16 minutes, until lightly golden and set.
  2. While the crust bakes, make the nut topping. Combine pecans, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a small bowl; add melted butter and stir until incorporated. Spoon topping evenly over warm crust and return pan to oven. Continue baking another 10 to 12 minutes, until golden.
  3. While the bars finish baking, make the syrup. Combine honey, water, and orange juice in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let mixture simmer until syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Place baked bars on a wire rack and drizzle syrup over still-warm topping, tilting pan slightly to coat evenly. Cool bars completely in pan. Carefully lift parchment and place bars on a cutting board; cut into triangles with a sharp knife. If desired, serve with a drizzle of honey. Store leftover bars in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days, or freeze up to 3 months.


Nutrition

  • Calories: 194
  • Carbohydrates: 25

Keywords: Baklava, Cookie Bars, Cinnamon, Honey

More baklava inspired treats:

Baklava Meringue Tart
Baklava Granola
Baklava Hand Pies

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32 Comments

  1. Another genius creation! I adore baklava, but making it is definitely tedious. These bars will be such an easy way to get my fix!!

  2. Oh wow these look absolutely incredible! I’ve always wanted to try making baklava, but was weirdly intimidated. I really want to try this recipe now w/GF flour 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Laura!

  3. You’ve got citrus interwoven throughout these scrumptious bars, Laura! And you’ve made sugar dough as the base… so smart and much simpler to pull together than a traditional baklava! Such a delicious sweet treat!

  4. I just pulled these out of the oven and omggggggg! They are amazing. Super easy and very delicious. I cut the sugar slightly because I will be feeding them to my father … and they are still spectacular. Love the orange! I think next time I will make more nut
    Topping- just personal preference

  5. These are so good and hit the flavors and sticky goodness we love about baklava. The orange is so good without being overpowering and the spices help balance everything out with a buttery crust. It’s like baklava meets pecan bars and that is just plan delicious!

  6. I must say. .. I lose my husband after just the smell of baking these bars. I made them over the summer and we both agreed it tasted more like a holiday cookie with the orange, cinnamon and cloves. I just made them yesterday and yep. . .I lost my husband again 🤣 They will definitely be a new staple in our home for years to come. The funny thing is. . I’ve never had a baklava!

  7. These are so delicious! They were easy and came out perfectly. I made some very small changes – used a mix of almonds, pecans, and walnuts and probably used about a cup in total. I also used 1/4 cup of orange juice instead of the water because I love orange.