Bird`s nest cookie - oriental delight

When I stumbled upon the beautiful blog of Délice d`Orient, and I saw the image of her "Nid d`oiseau" (bird`s nest) here, I was just smitten immediately! I have a soft spot for a lot of the delicacies of the Middle East, so seeing this very pretty biscuits filled with almond, perfumed with orange blossom and drenched in honey, I was set to make it as soon as possible! The only "obstacle" was to find the cake crimper to achieve the look, but I did not waste too much time get one!

So, here is my quick trial version (next time, I will make them a bit smaller and the crimps needs to be even closer to each other) and the recipe in English. It is a cookie that we have included now in our family fave repertoire! 

Though it might come as a surprise, the cookie itself is not sweet at all (you put not too much of sugar in the filling) so soaking it in honey is a must! This time I used agave syrup as it it a delicious and a healthy sweetener (has low GI).

 

Ingredients

Dough: 320g standard flour 80g melted butter (let it cool down a bit) pinch of salt 1 tsp of vanilla extract orange blossom water (a few tbsp) Filling: 3 and 1/4 cups of ground almond 3/4 cup of icing sugar orange blossom water (a couple of tbsp) (I deliberately left out the vanilla extract here as opposed to the original recipe as I wanted the orange blossom to be "uninterrupted") Decoration and soaking: honey (or any other syrup that you like, e.g. agave, date...) 1/2 cup of whole hazelnut 150g angel hair pasta (I used rice paste) 2 tbsp of melted butter

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C celsius degree (original recipe suggests 160, but it did not work for me, it took much longer than indicated and I ended up increasing the temperature). For the dough, mix the butter into the dry ingredients, until it resembles crumbles then add the vanilla and as much orange blossom that you have medium textured dough. Let it rest for an hour at room temperatures. For the fillings, mix the dry ingredients together then add, little by little, as much orange blossom water that creates a firm but shapeable texture. Roll out a piece of dough into a rectangle with the width of about 14cm. Place the filling on the edge (as on the photo above) in a sausage shape with about 8mm diameter. Roll the dough around it to for a cigar shape then cut off the rest to the dough. Form a circle with the cigar and close the ends and pinch the top surface of it with a cake crimper (as shown on the photo above). Continue until you dough lasts. Bake the nests in the preheated ovens until golden brown. Then soak them in honey and decorate with angels hair pan fried in butter and with a few hazelnuts.
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