Baklava Thumbprint Cookies

by Erin

All of the deliciousness of baklava in a cookie. These baklava thumbprint cookies are chewy, crunchy and crispy all at the same time.

Baklava Thumbprint Cookies.
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I adore baklava but if I am being honest I have yet to ever make it myself. All those thin layers of phyllo intimidate me, even if I use premade sheets. As such, I have resorted to making baklava cookie bars for years because they are a deliciously easy substitute.

No, today is not the day in which I finally reveal my attempt at making my own baklava. In fact, I have regressed even further and am sharing a recipe for baklava thumbprint cookies today. All good things lead to cookies, my friends. Hence the name of this blog I suppose.

Baklava Thumbprint Cookies on a white rack.

The base of this cookie is actually a cream cheese sugar cookie that I have used for years. While cream cheese is not usually in baklava, it did produce a chewy cookie which reminds me of biting into true baklava.

Different that usual thumbprints, these baklava thumbprint cookies are baked most of the way before indenting, filling with a combination of almonds, pistachios, walnuts, crushed phyllo, butter, honey, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and returning tot the oven for the final minutes of baking time. This allows the nut filling to caramelize and crisp up just enough without overdoing it. Then finish them off with a lemon-honey glaze.

Baklava Thumbprint Cookie Recipe.
Baklava Thumbprint Cookies on a tray,

Baklava Thumbprint Cookies.


Yield: 3 dozen Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat



  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups plus 2 Tbsp sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp 2% milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/3 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 frozen mini phyllo shells (from 2.1-oz package), crushed


  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice


  1. In a stand mixer or large bowl with electric hand mixer, mix ingredients in order until fully incorporated (except for the sprinkles and jam).
  2. Place more granulated sugar in a small shallow bowl. Shape dough into walnut-sized balls (I used my medium cookie scoop) and roll in sugar, lightly shaking off excess. Cover and chill dough in refrigerator for one hour (or overnight).
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, combine the filling ingredients until combined; set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
  5. Place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and quickly push a crevasse into the center of each cookie (using the back of a spoon - be careful not to push all the way through). Immediately spoon a teaspoon of filling into the center and return to the oven to bake for another 2 minutes or until cookies are lightly golden on the edges.
  7. Let cool on cookie sheet 10 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
  8. While the cookie cool, prepare the icing. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, powdered sugar, and lemon juice. If needed, reach desired consistency by adding a little water or more powdered sugar. Drizzle over the cookies and allow the glaze to set for a few minutes.
  9. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Did You Make This Recipe?
I want to see! Tag me on Instagram at @TheSpiffyCookie and hashtag it #TheSpiffyCookie.

Source: Adapted from my Grinch Heart Thumbprint Cookies, Betty Crocker, and Practically Homemade.

Did you make this recipe? I want to see! Tag @THESPIFFYCOOKIE on Instagram and hashtag it #THESPIFFYCOOKIE

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Now you’re talking. My favorite type of cookie…a thumbprint! And baklava…genius! Not to mention crazy delicious! Thanks for making Christmas Cookies Week so lovely Erin. I’ve enjoyed seeing your recipes each day and your Peppermint Shortbread might be one of my absolute favorite recipes from the week, along with these thumbprint cookies, of course. You really have shared some wonderful recipes this week! Happy Holidays!

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Wendy Klik December 8, 2023 - 8:12 am

These cookies sound perfect. You could always put this filling into those little bite-sized filo pastry cups they sell frozen too.


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