Palestine Recipes: Atayef

Atayef is a dessert made by Palestinian Muslims to break the fast during Ramadan. The crust looks a bit like a small pancake but has a different taste. It is made with nuts and goat cheese.



• 1 envelope active dry yeast
• 1 tsp sugar
• 1¼ to 2 cups warm water
• 1½ cup all-purpose flour
• ½ cup of semolina
• Vegetable oil


• 2 cups chopped walnuts and cheese
• 3 tbsp sugar
• 2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup pancake syrup or dark corn syrup
• ½ tbsp lemon juice


1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. Dissolve yeast and sugar in ½ cup warm water. Cover lightly with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place for about 20 minutes, or until mixture begins to foam.

3. In a small bowl, prepare filling by mixing walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.

4. In another small bowl, combine syrup and orange flower water. Set aside.

5. Warm a large mixing bowl by rinsing with hot water and drying thoroughly. Sift flour into warmed bowl. Make a depression in the center, pour in yeast mixture, and beat into the flour. Continue beating, gradually adding the remaining warm water until mixture is the consistency of pancake batter. Cover mixture with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place for 1 hour, or until bubbly.

6. Place 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a heavy skillet and swirl to coat skillet evenly. Heat pan over high heat. Pour about 1/4 cup batter into heated pan. Tilt pan gently to even out batter, but keep pancake fairly thick and round. Cook until pancake begins to bubble and comes away easily from pan. Cook only one side of pancake.

7. Use a spatula to remove pancake from pan and place pancake on a greased cookie sheet or baking dish. Put 2 tablespoons walnut filling on uncooked side of pancake and fold in half. Firmly pinch edges together to keep filling in place. Repeat with remaining batter and filling, adding oil to pan as needed.

8. When all pancakes are cooked and filled, place a cookie sheet or baking dish in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and dip pancakes in syrup mixture while they are still warm. Serve with sour cream.