In the pre-kid era of our marriage, we were always busy going to art galleries, wine tastings, festivals and sporting events. We ate fresh seafood and took long walks on the beach in Florida, explored the Sleeping Bear Dunes and toured the lighthouses in Northern Michigan, took a boat tour under the Golden Gate bridge and visited Chinatown in San Francisco, discovered new wineries and backed our rental car into a palm tree in Napa and skied the
slopes bunny hills of the Colorado Rockies.
Since we aren’t traveling as much these days, I have been virtually traveling with FOOD! A lot of my food memories are tied to desserts (imagine that). My husband and I went to this amazing Greek festival a few weeks after our wedding. The sun was setting, and it was still close to 90 degrees outside, but everyone was dancing and having a grand time despite the heat. It was at this festival I had the most heavenly dessert – a baklava sundae. Oh. my. goodness. Nuts, cinnamon, honey, and flaky pastry topped off with the BEST vanilla ice cream. It was sooooo good.
I’ve never attempted to make homemade baklava, but after I looked at a few recipes I realized how time consuming it can be. I wanted to capture all the flavors of baklava, but in a dessert that’s quick and easy to prepare. Thus, Baklava Blondies were born! The base is a shortbread crust that is parbaked, then smothered with a gloriously sticky honey, cinnamon and walnut topping and baked until golden brown. Enjoy! 🙂
This recipe is made with walnuts, but you could substitute pistachios, also traditionally used in baklava.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 Eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup honey
- 4 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Honey, for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a 9 X 9 square baking pan with two overlapping pieces of parchment paper, allowing the edges to fall over the sides of the pan (this is so you can easily lift them out to cut neatly on a cutting board after they are baked).
- Whisk together flour and salt in a bowl, set aside.
- With an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until fluffy and pale, about 3 minutes.
- Add both sugars and vanilla and mix on low until combined.
- Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low until combined.
- Scrape down bowl with a spatula, mix again for a few seconds.
- Transfer mixture to the baking pan, and press dough evenly into pan with floured fingertips.
- Parbake for 10-15 minutes.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, butter, vanilla, corn syrup and honey.
- Remove parbaked blondies from the oven, then press the chopped walnuts in the crust.
- Pour the egg mixture evenly over the top.
- Bake an additional 40 - 45 minutes. The blondies should be firm, but topping should not be burnt.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then lift them out by holding the edges of parchment paper and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Peel off the parchment paper and cut into squares using a serrated knife.
- Just before serving, drizzle with honey.