I never feel so Martha as when I make these bird nests out of kataïfi – finely shredded phyllo pastry you may recognize from some forms of baklava. It’s easy to find at Mediterranean stores, generally in the freezer section beside the phyllo pastry. Once thawed, you toss it with melted butter, sugar and cinnamon and shape it into little nests in mini muffin tins, then bake them in the oven. The result? These crispy, sweet nests into which you could nestle a few speckled jelly beans or small chocolate eggs.
To make the nests, thaw a package of kataïfi and cut the bundled tangle in half. Rewrap the rest so that it doesn’t dry out. In a large bowl, tear the bunch apart a few times, so that the strands are shorter and more manageable. Toss with a few tablespoons of melted butter, and a few spoonfuls of sugar spiked with cinnamon.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Pull out a small clump of the pastry and shape it into a nest in a muffin tin, pressing it up against the sides and forming an indentation in the middle. Bake the nests for 5-8 minutes, until pale golden on the edges. Cool completely in the pan before removing.
Nestle a few jellybeans or chocolate eggs in each nest, and serve on a tray, like you’d serve cookies or squares. Makes lots.
For more homemade Easter treats, check out “Easter Basket Case: 12 homemade treats for kids!”