Sweet almond nest (Marzipan stuffed katayfi)

I may have just came up with the sweetest dessert that I'm sure will become popular on my table at tea time or any special occasion. These little nest are sweet yet I'm sure you will eat more than one. I've always made baklava nest which are katayfi filled with a blend of nuts, cinnamon, and sugar but after craving Kab al Ghazal (a popular Moroccan cookie) and was way too lazy to make the dough I decided to use up the Katayfi that has been in my freezer since the Ramadan holiday. Needless to say they turned out delicious. :)

Almond paste
2 cups almonds (blanched)
3/4 cups superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons orange blossom water
1 tablespoon butter
1 eggwhite for egg wash

In a med saucepan bring water to the boil and drop in your almonds for approximately 30 seconds, drain water and peel the skin off your almonds. Place all your ingredients in a food processor until the mixture becomes smooth and you can no longer feel any almond or sugar grains. Set aside.

Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup superfine sugar
1 strip thinly pared orange rind
1 inch size cinnamon stick

Place sugar, water, orange rind and cinnamon stick in a heavyduty saucepan, stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and cook for approx 5 more minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly.

(Katayfi directions)
The katayfi doesnt really need a recipe, in fact it is sold in different packaging depending on where you live. So packs have perfectly rolled katayfi and some just sort of bundle it up. Melt enough butter to coat the  katayfi but no soak, enough to turn the white shreds into the color of butter, make sure to have your butter melted before opening the defrosted pack of Katayfi as it seems to harden very fast like phillo dough.

(How to assemble the cookies)
Roll your almond paste into cherry size balls and set aside. Once the almond paste balls have been rolled, dip each ball in egg wash, take a strip of kataifi shreds and roll the ball into it, making sure the kataifi goes around the entire almond ball. Place in a non stick baking pan (muffin/cupcake pans work best) and bake for approximately 15minutes or until the kataifi hardens and becomes slightly golden. If you like the golden look place under the broiler (on low) until the color you desire is reached. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of simple syrup and allow to cool down and obsorb the syrup.

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