I admit – I made these Greek bird’s nest cupcake toppers because I thought they would be good for Easter. I don’t celebrate Easter and clearly I have no clue what is good for Easter. I thought that because it was a nest, it would be Spring-like and perfect for a post about an Easter recipe.
Only after several people said something to me did it become apparent that I would have needed to use little pastel-colored eggs in the nests to be Easter-appropriate. Oh well! I finally caved in and decided to leave the Easter recipes for someone who celebrates Easter (at least this year!).
So now, I bring you my non-Easter Greek Bird’s Nest Cupcake Toppers during Passover week (when I can’t eat them, but I sure can think about them). Also, be sure to check out the Greek Bird’s Nest Cupcakes that they go on.
Kataifi – The Key Ingredient
The easy way to make Greek bird’s nests is to buy some kataifi. Kataifi is essentially shredded phyllo dough. You can buy it in the frozen section of an international supermarket or at a Greek deli. I imagine you could make kataifi from scratch, but I wasn’t about to give that one a go.
The Greek Bird’s Nest Recipe
I modified a recipe from about.com for kataifi to create my Greek Bird’s Nest recipe:
- 1 lb of kataifi dough, defrosted per package instructions
- 1 C (2 sticks) of butter, melted
For the filling:
- 1 C walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 C almonds, coarsely ground
- 1/2 C sugar
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1/2 t ground cloves
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 1 t brandy
Making the bird’s nests is a bit of an art form. It would be a really fun job for a kid. First, you mix all the filling ingredients and stir them. Then, you grab some kataifi dough and form it into a bird’s nest shape. Slather the bird’s nest with butter (this will help it to stick together). Then, plop some of the nut mixture on top.
I made 12 of them. However, the recipe could have made a few more than that. I just got lazy. Too bad I didn’t have a kid around to make some for me.
Place the bird’s nests into a glass baking dish and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
What makes bird’s nests yummy is that they are soaked in a honey syrup. If you are not using these as cupcake toppers, make syrup using the recipe at about.com and pour it over the bird’s nests while they are still hot. Wait 3-4 hours for the syrup to absorb into the bird’s nests before digging in. .
For my cupcakes, I made a different syrup that I used on both the cupcake and the bird’s nest and poured it over both items at once. I’ll write about that process and the syrup recipe in my upcoming cupcake post.
What To Do With the Extra Nut Mixture
When I made the bird’s nests, I was left with a lot of extra nuts and a little extra syrup. I covered the nut mixture with the syrup, wrapped it aluminum foil and toasted it in our toaster oven twice. It was a great snack for a couple of days!