Posted by: Catherine | June 23, 2009

Kataif–Honey Shredded-Dough Pastry (*RR)



(*Reader Recipe)

If you like baklavah, you’ll never eat it again! Not after you taste this dessert I’d never even heard of until we had our book discussion/feast based on Nancy Mehagian’s foodoir, Siren’s Feast, An Edible Odyssey. Nancy says this is actually an old (Armenian) family recipe, similar to what she remembers eating in Beirut, but with a bit of artistic license taken and her own touches added.

Serves 12 to 14


8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 lb. small curd cottage cheese

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup honey


1 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 pound Kataif dough (available in Middle-Eastern specialty stores), thawed overnight in the refrigerator if frozen


1 1/2 cups honey

1 1/2 cups water

Juice of 1 lemon, strained

1 T orange water

1 t. rose water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Blend the cheeses, eggs and honey using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl begin pulling apart the dough, which comes twisted and shredded, with your fingers until all the strands are loose. Pour melted butter on the dough and toss lightly until the dough is coated with butter. Cover the bottom of a baking tray (approximately 10 by 14 by 2 inches) with half the buttered dough. Next, spoon the cheese filling on, stopping one inch from the sides. Spread the remaining dough on top.

Place tray on the lower rack of oven and bake for 10 minutes; then place on the top rack and bake for 20 minutes longer, or until the dough is golden brown on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

To prepare syrup, boil honey, water, lemon juice, orange and rose waters together for about 10 to 15 minutes. Pour hot syrup over cooled pastry and serve slightly warm. To reheat, put in a 250 degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

Other Recipes from Nancy

dsc_0109 Cheese Beorag

dsc_0044 Orange Salad

eggplant Armenian Eggplant Salad

walnutdip Muhammara–Lebanese Walnut Dip

dsc_0063 B’Steeya

dsc_0036 Carrot and Beet Salad

taboulehdetail Tabbouli



  1. My mom loves baklava..I’m so excited to tell her about this..

  2. This looks really yummy – and easy to make! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  3. Love this specialty dessert. It’s delicious!

  4. Wow, that is very unique! Thank you for sharing this recipe! I will try to look for Kataif dough so I can try to make this!

  5. that’s a beautiful dessert!! :)))

  6. When you said our baklava would be out the window, we didn’t believe you…until we saw the creamy, cheesy filling! Now THAT sounds like the winner.

  7. yumm!! perfect for dessert.. thanx for sharing 🙂 a must make for the weekends

  8. Oh my. That looks wicked good, I do love baklava so I’m going to have to try it!

  9. Perfect dish for dancing under the stars. I love the creamy cheesy filling!

    Hi! Catherine , Where did you purchase the rose water and orange water?

    Thanks for sharing your Recipe:)

    Director of Sale/ blogging foodcreate Dorys~

    • Any Middle Eastern grocery should sell them. Hope this helps….

  10. wow! this looks quite gorgeous! I love it!

  11. I love baklava so I’m sure I would enjoy this beautiful dessert.

  12. Goodness, this looks terrific. Love this kind of food. I’ve so enjoyed looking at Nancy’s recipes and learning a little about her fascinating life.

  13. I teach kids cooking classes in the summer…we always make baklava….this looks even better..YUM..Thanks for sharing Figtreeapps

  14. Mmm i do love baklava, so i’d love to try this!!! it looks great!

  15. I love different dishes and this is one of your best so far. A definite keeper this recipe. And not a speck of chocolate in site!

  16. I bet this just melts in your mouth! How scrumptious! I’ve never heard of this kind of dough.

  17. Very interesting. I love all middle-eastern sweets. This recipe is a keeper.

  18. Oh it’s bee-yoo-ti-ful! never heard of something as exotic! WOW!!

  19. I’ve never seen anything like that before!

    I love how the dough shreds! That’s so cool

    I love baklava, but its so sweet, I can only have a little :0)

    Thanks for sharing your friends recipe!

  20. This sounds so unique. Lovely!

  21. I shall look for the dough – this is such a lovely change from other traditional desserts and looks mouth-watering.

  22. to me, baklava is one of the ultimate desserts. i suspect that if i ever taste this, it’ll join baklava on that list. it’s lovely to look at too–thanks for posting this!

  23. I love working with kataifi dough, so many things to do with it! I have only had it with the nut filling so I must try it with the cheese next time.

  24. Excellent: Your on a Moroccon mission! You have been bitten by those lovely flavours!
    Looks so delicious!
    Would you come over & have tea with this, together?

  25. That look so good all drenched in honey. I am going to have to look for some of that dough.

  26. wow im so suprised to see this recipe!!! my mom taught me how to make kataif as a kid and its my bizarre addition to every holiday or potluck… our filling is cream, sugar vanilla and cornstarch though, pretty simple. it should also be added that its deliciousness doubles or triples as a refrigerated leftover.

  27. I have posted the same dessert; it was part of our monthly challenge.
    It is my favorite dessert, ever.

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