Shredded Phyllo dough and pistachio cookies (taaj al-malek)
I decided it was high time I made these myself, instead of waiting to be in Beirut to enjoy them at a pastry shop or buying them at the middle-eastern grocer in a box, wondering how many months they had been sitting in that box. These pastries are called king’s crown or taaj al-malek. I made them extra small because I am wanting to only indulge a tiny bit.
The pastries are easy to make and can be made over several steps:
A. Prepare the crown of shredded wheat.
B. Prepare the clarified butter or use oil or both.
C. Prepare the syrup.
Time frame: If you divide it in steps, it will take 15 to 30 minutes for each step.
- 1 box of frozen kataifi dough (this is the shredded wheat and this can be found in middle-eastern stores and some upscale American supermarkets that carry exotic foods). Use half the quantity and make another recipe with the rest.
- 1 cup of clarified butter or a mixture of butter and canola or other vegetable oil or oil.
- 1 pound of pistachios already shelled (for this it is best to try a middle-eastern store, as they will carry the nuts shelled in a sealed bag)
- 1 cup of syrup made with 2 cups of sugar, a squeeze of lemon juice, orange blossom water and rose water.
A. PREPARE THE CROWN OF SHREDDED WHEAT:
- Take the kadaifi dough out of the wrapper and untangle it a bit. Place small mounds of it in mini-muffin cups or regular muffin cups. Repeat the operation in another pan until you have used the quantity you desire. Now place each pan on top of the other and place a heavy pan on top in order to keep the pans tightly sealed. Place the pans in a cupboard or turned off oven for one day or two, in order to dry out the shells as much as possible.
B. PREPARE THE CLARIFIED BUTTER:
- The day before (if you like to prepare things in advance) melt 4 sticks of butter slowly on the stove. When the butter is melted, collect the clear liquid in a measuring bowl and let the milky residue stay in the pot. Can be used right away or a few days or a month later. You can also use half the quantity of butter and mix half with some canola oil (or other oil, just not olive oil!)
C. PREPARE THE SYRUP:
- The syrup can be prepared up to two weeks or longer ahead. Simply place 2 cups of sugar and one cup of water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring it to a boil and then add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice ( about 1/2 tablespoon); when it has simmered for about 10 minutes and started to thicken slightly, add the orange blossom and rose water, about one teaspoon of each. At this point the syrup should be thick but not too thick.
- After drying out for a day or more the pastries are now ready to be baked; first, make sure the clarified butter or oil is liquid and warm and douse each pastry with it generously; place in a preheated 375F oven for about 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden-brown throughout. Remove from the oven and cool.
- Place the pastries on paper towels to blot out the excess oil or butter.
- Heat the syrup and bring to a simmer; add the pistachios and cook for a few minutes, making sure you don’t get the syrup to change color or it will cook too much. Remove from the heat and with a spoon, dole out some syrupy pistachios on each cookie. Cool the cookies and serve.
NOTE: you can replace the pistachios with some other nuts. The syrup should be thick enough that it will hold the nuts together but not so think that it will harden. Cooking time for the syrup should not exceed 12 minutes or so. If you cooked the syrup too long, and it is too hard, add some water and simmer a bit to make it lighter.
The best shape for these cookies is a strong base and a thinner wall all around; aim for this as it will help hold the pistachios once you plop them on the cookie, dripping in syrup.
NOTE: These are also called sparrow’s nest or esh al-bulbul
66 Comments • Comments Feed
I am crazy about pistachio nuts and I think this recipe looks remarkably delicious! What a unique and fun recipe.
On March 20, 2010 at 6:46 pm
Ooo…like a kadaif. Yummy!
On March 20, 2010 at 6:51 pm
Looks so fabulous! Love pistachio nuts and you made this looks so classic.
On March 20, 2010 at 7:50 pm
Very nice hummmmmmmmmm
On March 20, 2010 at 8:02 pm
The Little Teochew says:
Oooh, just so pretty! Like little nests, no? I’m like you … I like to indulge, but just a little bit. Beautiful!
On March 20, 2010 at 9:31 pm
These are one of my favourites , the Bourma and Taj Al Malek .
Awesome photos my freind I like the bite serving… I bought a silicon
molds to bake these treats.
On March 20, 2010 at 10:04 pm
I love pistachio nuts and these look amazing and so tasty! thanks.
On March 20, 2010 at 10:12 pm
Astra Libris says:
Ohhh, so beautiful! Your photos are gorgeous, and I love and greatly appreciate the step-by-step photos along with the recipe – thank you! I’m excited about working with the shredded wheat dough for the first time!
On March 20, 2010 at 10:45 pm
Sushma Mallya says:
Looks like a lot of work but worth doing it….done it so beautifully and to perfection…very nice one,enjoyed just by looking at it only..
On March 20, 2010 at 11:41 pm
Looks utterly beautiful and delicious!!
On March 21, 2010 at 1:29 am
merci d’être passé sur mon blog, ce qui me permet de découvrir le tien avec ces jolies choses
On March 21, 2010 at 2:46 am
Angie@Angie's Recipes says:
How unique! I bet they taste heavenly with that pile of pistachios~!
On March 21, 2010 at 4:34 am
T.W. Barritt says:
What beautiful results – and you make it look quite easy with the step-by-step instructions.
On March 21, 2010 at 5:13 am
They’re so beautiful! Indeed they have a fitting name!
The step-by-step photo instructions are great.
On March 21, 2010 at 5:21 am
Simply Life says:
oh these are ADORABLE! Where do you come up with all these great ideas?!?!
On March 21, 2010 at 5:47 am
Wahou, c’est joli comme tout dans ces petites corbeilles! Et puis avec les pistaches, j’adore…
On March 21, 2010 at 5:48 am
Those look scrumptious!
On March 21, 2010 at 6:04 am
Tout simplement MAGNIFIQUE.
J’avais lu dans un autre blog que tu avais publié la recette de la Achté mais je n’arrive pas à la trouver ( crème blanche qui sert à fourrer plein de gâteaux orientaux).
On March 21, 2010 at 6:36 am
Things taste better in mini-version anyway. Love the pistachios! They are my favorite nut to have in desserts.
On March 21, 2010 at 6:50 am
so magnifique!!miammm!a tester tres vite…
On March 21, 2010 at 7:35 am
Nicole @ MGC says:
You make such intricate foods. This dessert looks amazing, I also love things that are mini. You can enjoy more then! You are really talented and your pictures show off your food incredibly.
On March 21, 2010 at 7:43 am
Woww such a cute cookies, looks marvellous!!
On March 21, 2010 at 8:18 am
Ils sont supers mignons ces petits paniers !
Très bon dimanche,
On March 21, 2010 at 9:01 am
Choosy Beggar Tina says:
Those look delicious!! Whenever my father would bring home mixed baklava my favorites were always “the bird nest cookies”. Something about the texture of syrupy katafi and buttery nuts. Yum!
On March 21, 2010 at 1:05 pm
Yum, these sound delicious.
On March 21, 2010 at 2:02 pm
They are so cute! Related to baklava?
On March 21, 2010 at 2:36 pm
Rachana Kothari says:
These look so gorgeous and I love pistachios:) What a lovely recipe!
On March 21, 2010 at 3:59 pm
These pastries are gorgeous! I love these but I’ve never thought of making them myself…thanks for the inspiration! (My hubby will be happy! 🙂 )
On March 21, 2010 at 4:26 pm
These are most unusual. I will have to come up with a substitute for the kadaifi dough so that I can make these dainty little morsels
On March 21, 2010 at 6:53 pm
Sook @ My Fabulous Recipes says:
Wow, that’s just amazing!
On March 21, 2010 at 8:27 pm
These are FANTASTIC!! Oh wow….did you know pistachio is just one of my favorite nuts ever? I don’t eat them much because they are expensive, but I really LOVE them in all forms. And these “cookies”…almost like a little bird nest! With pistachios for eggs….so adorable!
On March 21, 2010 at 9:22 pm
Elles sont magnifiques, je suis comme toi, j’aime le défi, si j’ai envie de manger qlq chose, je n’attends pas pour aller au Maroc, je le fais moi meme.
On March 21, 2010 at 10:05 pm
très jolie comme présentation et appétissant
On March 22, 2010 at 12:42 am
Recipe man says:
this looks so tasty and full of color. i love this thanks!
On March 22, 2010 at 12:46 am
Viviane, Taste-Buds says:
I love those! I ate some yesterday or maybe I should say indulged! I still think that the ones my pupils mom gets from Syria are the best I ever had, never tried home made though, the ones you have here look great!
On March 22, 2010 at 12:56 am
Viviane, Taste-Buds says:
P.S. I love the new look of the site, at least it is new to me, I have been away for a while, I know that!
On March 22, 2010 at 12:58 am
They looks so pretty!
On March 22, 2010 at 2:07 am
HistoryOf GreekFood says:
Sparrow’s nest? How poetic, Joumana!
On March 22, 2010 at 3:46 am
Ils sont très mignons en mini-version, ça donne envie de croquer dedans !
Bonne semaine, bisous!
On March 22, 2010 at 4:01 am
Happy Norwuz! All of your dishes look beautiful (as always), so happy to have a chance to check in and have a look. I will be going to a Lebanese restaurant in Vienna later this week. I wonder if the food will be as good as yours? I hope so!!
On March 22, 2010 at 4:23 am
Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella says:
Oooh I’ve tried these from a store and they were really good! Now I have the recipe (where I never thought I’d be able to make these) 😛
On March 22, 2010 at 5:01 am
A gorgeous treat and I’m all for the pistachios too! You confused me with the shredded wheat title though. Kataifi behaves much differently than shredded wheat in the kitchen.
On March 22, 2010 at 5:35 am
Barbara Bakes says:
What a perfect little treat for Spring! Are they ever filled with fruit?
On March 22, 2010 at 5:53 am
What a unique and pretty sweet treat! My Dad would have loved these cookies!
On March 22, 2010 at 6:58 am
je suis une grande fan de pâtisserie orientale …
les photos sont sublimes
On March 22, 2010 at 7:12 am
Delicious! Makes me want to run to the kitchen and make them right now.
On March 22, 2010 at 7:40 am
beautiful love bakalwa this is right up my alley yummy
On March 22, 2010 at 7:54 am
So cute ces petits paniers!
On March 22, 2010 at 8:08 am
Sarah Naveen says:
That looks fabulously yummy!!
On March 22, 2010 at 8:18 am
I love pistachios, they are my favorite nut. The color, the taste– I love everything about them. This is a fantastic recipe–what a great little sweet dessert.
On March 22, 2010 at 10:29 am
Asia Jo says:
Darling – I love your blog and this post is absolutely amazing … great photos, fantastic instructions, and a wonderful pastry 🙂 My house renovation is finally over and Now I can start exploring your fabulous recipes! xxx
On March 22, 2010 at 10:52 am
5 Star Foodie says:
Happy Nowruz to you! These cookies are so unique and sound delightful! I would love to try!
On March 22, 2010 at 11:27 am
The past 3 months of vigorous weight training and cardio has now been rendered useless. Fantastic.
On March 22, 2010 at 11:53 am
very unique.. i loved all your lebanese-inspired recipes. your blog has inspired me now to cook some labanese food! these pastries look delicious with the shredded wheat crowns.
On March 22, 2010 at 12:46 pm
How beautiful…I love pistachios these are so cute- my girls would love them!!
On March 22, 2010 at 12:50 pm
These look incredible! You make the process look so easy.
On March 22, 2010 at 2:26 pm
Wow, absolutely lovely “crowns”…love the combination of the wheat and pistachio…I can only imagine the taste…what a torture to look at them and not be able to reach 😉
On March 22, 2010 at 2:37 pm
I love pistachos! These look interesting, beautiful a delicious! Great dessert.
On March 22, 2010 at 3:04 pm
A Canadian Foodie says:
My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my husband thanks you,my daughter thanks you…. I have been looking for a recipe for these that looks like I can actually make it forever… and I trust your site and your cooking prowess… so now, onto making these… for mom’s 80th birthday! YUM
On March 22, 2010 at 6:11 pm
A Canadian Foodie says:
PS = how long do they keep?
On March 22, 2010 at 6:12 pm
Aysegul - nysdelight says:
So Simple and Sooo Simplyyy delicious!!! Yummy! What a smart idea too! I LOVE sherred fillo!
On March 25, 2010 at 2:05 pm
Magic of Spice says:
I just have to say WOW! I really love this!
On December 28, 2010 at 11:26 pm
Rürup Rente Vergleich says:
I really like your blog and i really appreciate the excellent quality content you are posting here for free for your online readers. thanks peace claudia.
On January 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm
Lillian Al-Hawamdeh says:
I did it! It was so easy and delicious! Thank you so much! 🙂
On March 28, 2011 at 1:43 pm
I made these yummy treats today. Made too many. Can they be frozen?
On June 14, 2013 at 4:39 pm
@Daisy; they last a long time; I would just keep them in the fridge in a box tightly closed.
On June 15, 2013 at 12:11 am