Cooking Israel

Bird's Nest Baklava

Tags: Food

by Liz Steinberg of Cafe Liz

Bird's Nest Baklava by Liz Steinberg

Bird's Nest Baklava by Liz Steinberg

While I haven’t always decided on a Purim costume, I did decide one year to dress up my hamentaschen in Middle Eastern outfits.
The Purim story is set in first-century Persia, so it’s unlikely that Mordechai, Esther or Haman ever had baklava. While the Persians (or Ottomans) are thought to have invented baklava, filo came into being only somewhere between the 6th and the 10th centuries. But still, it’s a twist that makes me smile.

Makes 16 cookies


For the cookies:
  • 3/4 cup or 150g kadaif noodles
  • 1/2 cup butter
For the syrup:
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose water
For the stuffing:
  • 1/4 cup or around 30g pistachios — 3 whole pistachios per cookie, plus some ground nuts for sprinkling (You could use a different nut if you want, you'll just want to have a similar quantity and a mix of chopped and ground.)


  1. Let your kadaif noodles thaw in the bag for about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius / 300 Fahrenheit. Melt the butter (I microwaved it for a minute). Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
To form the nests:
  1. Take a chunk of noodles, lay them out in a long strip, and brush generously with butter. Twist the strip a few times in order to make a loose rope, and then wind the rope into a coil. This should give you a round nest. Press in the sides to make a triangle shape, and poke your finger gently into the top to make sure there’s a hollow. Put the triangle on your baking tray.
  2. Repeat with the rest of the dough, to form 16 nests. You may not need all the butter (I brushed the rest on top of my little triangles). Put the nests in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden, but don’t let them become dark brown or burn. Some of the noodles inside the nests may still be white when you’re done baking.
  3. While the nests are baking, make the syrup: Put everything in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes, too, or until the liquid has a thick, syrupy consistency.
  4. Set aside three pistachios for each nest and crush the rest. (To crush them, I would have used my coffee grinder if it hadn’t had coffee in it at the time.)
  5. Once the nests are out of the oven, sprinkle a small bit of ground pistachio into each nest and then press in the three pistachios (or chopped nuts of your choice). Drizzle with syrup — I used about 1/3-1/2 tablespoon for each nest, because I didn’t want them to be too sweet, and had some syrup left over. (You could use more syrup if you want, though — it's up to taste).


  • These yummy little treats are great all year, not just for Purim - instead of pinching them into hamantaschen triangles, just leave your nests round!
  • Mix it up with a different nut of your choice - try chopped walnuts, almonds, peanuts, etc. 


Original recipe posted here

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Tags: Food