Atayef

Atayeeeef! Only eaten through the month of Ramadan, it’s probably the most staple dessert of fasting Palestinians and their neighbours. It’s doughy/pancake-y pastry stuffed with nuts or cheeses, then usually deep fried and dipped in a floral sugar syrup. 

Hmmmm, not really into that process much, I mustn't lie. You just end up feeling lethargic and overloaded on sugar! My recipe does not compromise on any of the traditional elements, at all! Its crispy and sticky and chewy and goes straight to your soul. Yes I’m being over emphatic, but trust me when I say it’s just like the original, but better! 

*I use spelt flour in a lot of my recipes, but feel free to use regular wheat flour too. Here I use a mixture of wholegrain spelt flour, do the pastries are a little darker, but play around with what you like, and have fun testing with fillings!! Some people have been known to put chocolate spread in the middle! Whaaat?! I love the combination of walnuts, coconut and cinnamon as that’s what my mama makes, lots of people also put cheeses in the middle, but just have fun with it :)*

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 1/4 Cups Spelt Flour (I used half brown and half white, you can also use plain flour)
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar/Coconut Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Corn Flour 
  • 1/2 tsp Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • Pinch of Salt 
  • 1 1/2 Cups lukewarm Water

Filling

  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1/3 Cup Desiccated Coconut
  • 1/2 Tbsp Brown Sugar/ Coconut Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Syrup

  • 1 Cup Honey
  • 3 tsp Rosewater
  • 1 Tbsp Water

Method

  1. Mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cornflour
  2. Add in the water, wisking briskly until smooth
  3. Cover with a dry kitchen towel and leave to the side for 30 mins
  4. After 30 minutes, heat a pan, on a medium high heat and rub with a bit of oil with a    kitchen towel
  5. With a ladle, pour the batter into the pan, letting it even out into rounds of about 8-10cm in diameter (cook the ‘pancakes' one by one)
  6. Let the batter cook on one side until it bubbles on the side facing up (this takes about 20-30 seconds 
  7. When cooked place on a dry dish towel
  8. Mix together the walnuts, coconut, cinnamon and sugar and set aside
  9. Preheat oven to 170C/190C
  10. When cooled fold them gently a semicircle, pinch at one end, then add in just under a teaspoon of filling, then pinching the edges to seal
  11. Brush them with olive oil on both sides (with your hands is best!)
  12. Bake for 20 mins, turning them over halfway
  13. As they bake, warm the honey, and add in the rosewater and water, and leave to cool
  14. When the Atayef finish baking, dip them into the syrup making sure they're coated

Serve!!