Baklava Sugar Cookies

Congratulations, Liz, on your Weblog award nomination for Bowl of Delicious!  Everyone should go vote for her, especially since she's up there with some of my idols (Smitten Kitchen and Pinch of Yum), how exciting!  And if you don't already follow her blog, I highly recommend it.  She prepares easy, delicious, and healthy recipes that real people can make- busy schedules and all.  And she's super nice on top of everything.  In honor of her nomination, I've prepared a baklava cookie because she's one of the few people I know who claim baklava is "easy", though luckily she does admit it's tedious.  If you want to follow her real recipe for baklava, find it here!
I absolutely love baklava.  It's one of those treats I don't make for myself, and it seems all the more special when I can order it from a restaurant.  Filo dough is finicky, and I also don't entirely know what to do with a huge pan of baklava, does it freeze well??  Anyone have knowledge of this??  Most of my baked goods end up in the freezer to be slowly devoured :-)
But I stumbled upon a recipe for baklava cookies and got really excited to try them.  It's the flavor of baklava (dripping honey and warm spices) but with easy portion control and something I'm really used to making- cookies!
I used the recipe for sugar cookies from America's Test Kitchen (sans rolling the dough in sugar prior to baking), but if you'd like to use your go-to sugar cookie recipe, go for it!  Just make sure it's more geared towards drop cookies and not cut-out cookies.  And if you want to make this even easier, just use a store-bought sugar cookie dough and all you have to do is make the filling (which was wicked easy).
Baklava Sugar Cookies (adapted from this recipe)
makes 24 cookies

1 package sugar cookie dough (18 oz), or use sugar cookie recipe below
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  When melted, add the powdered sugar and honey and stir until uniform.  Remove from heat when the mixture begins to bubble.  Add the pistachios and cinnamon and stir.  Set aside for 30 minutes to cool.

When the mixture has cooled, form the cookie dough into 24 balls of dough, about 2" balls of dough, or 2 tablespoons of dough.  Press down slightly, bake for 9 minutes and remove from the oven (cookies will not be set at this point).  Use a heaping 1/2 teaspoon to scoop up a portion of the honey nut filling, and press into the center of each cookie.  Bake for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookie is starting to turn golden.

Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a cooling rack.

Chewy Sugar Cookies (from America's Test Kitchen)
makes 24 cookies

2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
2 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the sugar and cream cheese, then drizzle in the warm melted butter.  Add the oil and mix until combined.  Add egg, milk, and vanilla and mix until smooth.  Add the dry ingredients and mix just until a uniform dough is formed.  Proceed with baklava cookie recipe above.

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