June 20, 2008

bogus but breathtaking baklava

I'm slowly summoning the motivation to tackle making real, authentic baklava. In the meantime, I've stumbled upon something that will suffice quite nicely. Yes, it will do just fine.


This is a less-delicate-but-still-darn-tasty, easy-way-out, prize-winning Betty Crocker recipe. I followed it pretty closely, but since it seems I always have to tweak something, tweak I did. I used a combination of pistachio nuts (a personal favorite) and glazed walnuts rather than just plain ol' walnuts. Since the walnuts were glazed, a reduced the sugar a bit. I also skipped out on the crumbled phyllo shells. I didn't have any, and although they would've made the bars more baklava-like, I didn't think they were essential to the flavor. So there. Oh, and I added more cinnamon in every component because cinnamon = love.


These are truly wonderful bars. I found it particularly difficult to take pictures of them because the smell was so alluring. In fact, and the grease on my camera is proof of this, I caved and ate a slab as I took these pictures. Butter, nuts, cinnamon, and honey--come on now. Tell me you wouldn't have done the same thing.


Baklava Bars
(adapted from here)

Cookie Base:
1 pouch sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
pinch of cinnamon :)

Filling:
1 cup glazed walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

Glaze:
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
In large bowl, stir cookie base ingredients until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom of pan. Bake 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, stir nuts, sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt with fork until mixture is well-mixed and crumbly.
Sprinkle nut mixture evenly over partially-baked base. Bake 18 to 20 minutes longer or until golden brown.
For glaze, microwave honey, butter, brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon uncovered until bubbly. Stir in vanilla. Drizzle honey mixture evenly over bars. Cool completely before cutting, about 2 hours (yeah, right--who can wait that long?).



I'm off to NYC this afternoon, for a weekend chock-full of eating, sight-seeing, eating, catching up with a couple of my very best friends, and eating. I hope to take lots of pictures, but I'm still not particularly comfortable breaking out the camera in restaurants (bad memories and all that...). Have a great weekend, folks!

49 comments:

Albany Jane said...

2 hours? Oh, girl - I would have given them about 2 minutes before digging in and burning my fingers.

And those pistachos look like icing on the cake... omg, this would make a great coffee cake...

Elle said...

mmmmm, very nice. Could definitely be dangerous.

Have a great weekend!

Ann said...

Huh. I never heard of these cookies! And I adore baklava!

Have fun in NYC this weekend! Go to the Union Square Greenmarket!

Lucy said...

Mmmmmmm...I too love baklava, and I agree this sounds so good with all the amazing flavors I so enjoy!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

This is an interesting twist on baklava and I'll have to try it. Baklava doesn't last long in my house! And lol@ the greasy camera comment...a blog hazard I can sadly relate to. Also, enjoy the trip to NY!

noble pig said...

This looks wondefully yummy and easy to make.

Have a great trip!

giz said...

You're killin' me - just when I promised myself I would do more savoury dishes ....gahhhh - too good to pass up

dobetter said...

Oh my, that looks so good...so moist and flavorful. Much better than typical baklava.

Indigo said...

Ahh, bar versions of dessert are genius. And these look ridiculously delicious. Don't mind if I do..

cookinpanda said...

Oh these look fabulous... bogus or not. And about 10x easier than dealing with phyllo dough and the real thing.

Enjoy New York. I was reading about your camera incident... I hope you do end up breaking out the camera. I take my camera most places I eat in New York, and haven't had many problems. (Plus, most places will be too busy to have time to stop you, if they care to at all.)

Jeena said...

Have a wonderful trip Grace! I would be FULL of grease if I got my hands on these yummy little treats!! :-D

Judy @ No Fear Entertaining said...

Yummmm. I printed this out to be made this weekend!

Katie said...

Cinnamon does = Love. And I love me some baklava so I will have to give these a try.

nicisme said...

I think I would like to do a face plant in this!
Have a super time and go on, take a few photos in that restaurant, I dare you!

farida said...

Hi Grace! Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. Just came to check out your blog here. Looks yummy and interesting!:) Just subscribed to you.

Oh, I love Baklava, any kind of it, bogus or not:) This looks so delicious! I posted the recipe for Easy Baklava on my blog some time ago. You are welcome to take a look at my bogus too:)

http://azcookbook.wordpress.com/2008/03/18/easy-baklava/

Cheryl said...

Yum! I've made baklava before, and it was sooo much work. I'm going to have to try these! They seem like a fine substitute!

Have a wonderful weekend!

kimberleyblue said...

Those look so good! I love baklava - this is great for when I don't have the patience for phyllo!

bunny said...

this looks fantastic grace, have a good weekend in nyc and stay safe!

Sugar said...

GOOD GOD! I'm getting F-A-T just looking at all of those yummy pictures! So much for losing the last of the muffin top... damn...

Erinn said...

Oh Grace...
What can I say? I'm so torn by your post! As a Greek girl, you must understand how I must feel about this faux baklava...
But then, I get real and admit, I have made trays upon trays of other baked Greek dishes, yet not 1tray of baklava (not 1), and I do love it so. This looks KICK A - -.
I'm so making this and I don't care what any of my Greek relatives say.

Emiline said...

I can't take a picture without taking a bite of whatever it is I've made. Not so bad if it's something healthy, but if it's decadent...well, I feel bad about eating it the rest of the day.

Baklava cake sounds wonderful. I love pistachios and walnuts.

Vicarious Foodie said...

Those look so yummy! Don't you hate it when you get food on your camera? I do it all the time.

Cakespy said...

Baklava and crumb cake have a baby...a baby I'd like a bite of.

Kevin said...

These baklava bars sound really good!! Bookmarked! Have a great time in NYC.

steph said...

Ok, that sounds just wrong on so many levels. I'm going to have to try this.

Anonymous said...

Ooo, that looks delicious! I love it.

And you know, real baklava isn't so hard to make, you should give it a go! It's just time consuming, that's all. :)

Ari (Baking and Books)

Mrs. L said...

When you make the "real" baklava can you please come to my house and drop some off? In the meantime I'll just have to try your bogus version as it looks yummy (though I may have to sneak it in my scraproom so I don't have to share!)
FWIW, I wouldn't share the real baklava with anyone but you either....um yeah, baklava..me loves.

Lorraine E said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea! I love Baklava so the chance to try it in another iteration is rather exciting! :)

Tartelette said...

That looks like the perfect weekend bake! I totally relate to the grease on camera image :)

White On Rice Couple said...

These are beyond breathtaking! I would totally eat a slab of these too! You're sooo right...butter, nuts, cinnamon and honey...how can anyone resist! :)

Lore said...

You're right these will do quite nicely when a baklava craving comes along. Have a great time in NYC! Can't wait to read about your finds.

Bellini Valli said...

There would be honey and butter on my camera lens too:D

LyB said...

This is such a great idea! I've never made baklava, it sounds so complicated, but this, this I could manage! And I can believe you when you say it was tough taking pics of these, they look fabulous. :)

Sophie said...

Hope you had fun in New York :). Baklava has got to be one of my top 5 favorite desserts! I love the nut combo you used; I bet the pistachios made it even tastier, they certainly made the baklava very pretty. :D

Deborah said...

I love it - cinnamon=love. I totally agree. I hope you had a great time in NYC!

Sandy said...

Yummy! How about malasadas? Have you tried those? I'd love to be able to make them ...

Sandy said...

Grace, btw I LOVE LOVE LOVE baklava! Sometimes I buy from Harry and David - cuz it's local and I wait for the sale.

ovenhaven said...

This most certainly had my attention. Something that looks this good has got to be lethal! You have quite the willpower to withstand not chomping into them the minute they're out of the oven.

Btw sweets, I've finally done the top 10 pictures you tagged me for. Drop by to have a look-see! ;)

Leslie said...

I feel my hips getting bigger already!!!
Thanks for you comment on my Sleepin Beauty Cake. I have NO CLUE on how long it took me..it felt like weeks!!

Joanna said...

I just wiped my chin with drool. Thanks.

Vera said...

Grace, you've just read my mind - I've been craving baklava for about a month. I don't like to deal with nuts
often because of my son's allergy :(
Your baklava bars look very tasty!

KJ said...

looking good!! I am all for the easy-way-out.

Jeff said...

I don't think I would have even gotten a picture taken before they would have been devoured. Those looks so awesome!

Jaime said...

yum! love the last photo.

my hubby is always getting mad at me b/c i get the camera all sticky and greasy... what can i say? it's part of the job! :)

dessertobsessed said...

oh my, these look so delicious!!! when i first saw the pistachios, i thought they were avocados, and you made a savory baklava, hahahaha. but i think the pistachios would taste much better than avocados!!

Anonymous said...

hi, that looks YUMMY! i really want to try it but i dont know what the sugar cookie mix is or how much a pouch is (live in london so have access to like nothing :(
is there a recipe for the sugar cookie mix?
they look so wonderful and tasty :D

- natalie

Becky said...

bogus shmogus. it stills looks tasty. i would've done the same thing regarding your picture-taking. how can you resist something so delicious-looking?

Terri said...

Wow, a baklava recipe I might actually be able to make without totally screwing up! Thank you SO much for the awesome post!

Rayrena said...

Mmm, that sounds good. It's reminding me of a semolina cake that I get at our local Middle Eastern market that has ground nuts (almonds I think) and is soaked in a sugar syrup. Mmm, now I need some with a cup of coffee.