A plate of baklava cookies
Photo by Fred + Elliott Photography

Baklava is a dessert not for the faint of heart. It’s a process, one that often involves making a honey or simple syrup and layering sheets of paper-thin phyllo dough to build its height. Baker Ashley Arrington created these nutty thumbprints for a less time-consuming approach to her favorite dessert. “They offer baklava flavor without having to painstakingly butter a bazillion sheets of phyllo dough,” she says.


Makes 45 2-inch cookies

  • 4½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons honey, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Turbinado sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pistachios or walnuts

1. In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. 

2. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugar, and honey until light and fluffy. Add egg and egg yolk, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds on medium speed after each addition. Add flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

3. Scoop dough into 1½-inch balls, rolling each ball in turbinado sugar to coat. Place on cookie sheet, and chill for at least 30 minutes. Use your thumb to create a little bowl in each cookie. Fill the bowls with chopped nuts, and then a little pool of honey. Put the cookies back in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes longer. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

4. Place each cookie 1½ inches apart on your cookie sheet. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, rotating your cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Allow to cool on the sheets for 2 minutes; move to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Recipe By
    Arley Arrington of Charlottesville, Virginia
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