Simply Lebanese

Znoud El Sit

Znoud El Sit
  • Prep Time
    15 mins.
  • Cook Time
    5 mins
  • Serving
    6
Sweet Ashta (cream) wrapped in crispy phyllo dough and drenched in a rose-water syrup, Znoud El Sit are an irresistible dessert. This homemade recipe takes some dedication, but the end result is so worth it!
Znoud El Sit

Znoud El Sit in Arabic translates to “the upper arms of a woman.” A silly name, I have heard they are named for the similarity in shape.

You can find these pastries at any sweet shop in Lebanon, especially during the month of Ramadan, to be eaten as a post-iftar treat. After a long day of fasting, aside of the satisfying iftar, a sweet treat is almost always made to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea late at night. Znoud El Sit can be eaten at room temperature or cold, making these a great make-ahead dessert.

The Ashta (Cream) Filling

The sweet cream filling in Znoud El Sit is made using whole milk or cream, or, a combination of both. This ashta is actually very flexible, as I use a combination of heavy cream and whole milk in this recipe for peak richness. But, the heavy cream can be omitted and replaced with more milk, if you are trying to be health conscious. The whole milk can also be substituted with a lower fat milk if you prefer. The ashta won’t be as rich, but the flavor is just as delicious.

I like to use cornstarch to thicken the cream to the thick consistency required to be able to roll it in the phyllo dough. Some like to use white toast or semolina along with the cornstarch, but, I have found using just cornstarch to be both easier and more successful.

The ashta is sweetened with a little bit of sugar and flavored with rose and orange blossom water. If you have ever had mahalabia, you will notice that this ashta recipe is actually very similar to how mahalabia is made, just thicker.

Znoud El Sit

Tips

STEP 1

Make the ashta (cream filling) by combining the whole milk, heavy cream, sugar, and cornstarch in a small pot. Place over medium heat and begin whisking.

After a couple of minutes, the mixture will begin to thicken, keep whisking for about 5 more minutes.

Znoud El Sit

Turn off the stove and add in the rose water and orange blossom water. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.

STEP 2

Prepare the phyllo dough for the Znoud El Sit by cutting them into long rectangular strips about 4 inches wide.

Znoud El Sit
Znoud El Sit

STEP 3

Place a strip of phyllo horizontally and then place another strip over it vertically towards the bottom.

Add about 2 tablespoons of the ashta right in the middle of the vertical strip and fold over both sides. 

STEP 4

Roll the horizontal strip starting from the bottom over the folded one.

Use a little bit of water to help seal the znoud el sit as needed.

Znoud El Sit

Need some more help? Check out this how-to quick video!

STEP 5

Heat a large skillet with a neutral oil to 350 degrees. Fry the rolls in batches for about 4 minutes, flipping them over halfway through, until golden brown.

Znoud El Sit

Have the warm attar (simple syrup) ready in a large bowl. Drop the rolls immediately from the fryer into the ater, for about 30 seconds then transfer to a serving plate.

Znoud El Sit

Decorate with ground pistachios. Serve at room temperature or cold. Enjoy!

Znoud El Sit

Znoud El Sit

Sweet Ashta (cream) wrapped in crispy phyllo dough and drenched in a rose-water syrup, Znoud El Sit are an irresistible dessert. This homemade recipe takes some dedication, but the end result is so worth it!
4.74 from 19 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Lebanese
Keyword: cream filled pastry, dessert, lebanese, znoud el sett, Znoud el sit
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 432kcal
Author: Iman

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Make the ashta (cream filling) by combining the whole milk,heavy cream, sugar, and cornstarch in a small pot. Place over medium heat and begin whisking. After a couple of minutes, the mixture will begin to thicken,keep whisking for about 5 more minutes.
    Turn off the stove and add in the rose water and orange blossom water. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.
  • Prepare the phyllo dough for the Znoud El Sit by cutting them into long rectangular strips about 4 inches wide.
  • Place a strip of phyllo horizontally and then place another strip over it vertically towards the bottom.
  • Add about 2 tablespoons of the ashta right in the middle of the vertical strip and fold over both sides.
    Roll the horizontal strip starting from the bottom over the folded one. Use a little bit of water to help seal the Znoud El Sit as needed.
  • Heat a large skillet with a neutral oil to 350 degrees. Fry the rolls in batches for about 4 minutes, flipping them over halfway through,until golden brown.
    Have the warm ater (simple syrup) ready in a large bowl.Drop the rolls immediately from the fryer into the ater, for about 30 seconds then transfer to a serving plate.
  • Decorate with ground pistachios. Serve at room temperature or cold. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Make the ater (rose water simple syrup) ahead of time, up to weeks in advance!
  • The ashta (cream filling) can also be made in advance, up to 1-2 days.
  • To freeze, line a large tray with parchment paper and place the rolled znoud el sit on the tray. Freeze for at least 3 hours before transferring to a freezer-safe baggie. They can be fried directly from the freezer as needed!

Nutrition

Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 57.9g | Protein: 4.6g | Fat: 19.9g | Saturated Fat: 6.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7.7g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 224mg | Potassium: 129.7mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 35g

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    Recipe Reviews

    • rindi

      5 stars
      Hi,
      can we do it in an air fryer?

      • Iman

        Yes, I have not tried it, but I don’t see why not. I would air-fry them sprayed in nonstick spray on 375. Start checking after 4 minutes.

    • Tasnim

      These can be frozen with the ashta inside? The ashta doesn’t change texture when you take out the rolls to fry? Also how long are they good in the freezer for?

    • Melanie

      5 stars
      Just found your website tonight – these instructions are fantastic; thank you!
      You seem to cook very similiarly to my mum/family, so I am very excited as I take note of many new and different recipes! 🙂

      • Iman

        So glad you discovered my blog!! Thank you, enjoy!

    • CM

      Is the calorie breakdown per 2 rolls or per 1? And how many rolls does this recipe make? Thank you

      • Iman

        For two rolls! The recipe should make around a dozen of these.

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