There was a birthday to celebrate at work. Supposedly, Apollo and Athens Foods make shredded fillo or phyllo dough called "kataifi".
Neither of these products were found at any of my grocery stores in the desert, so I took a roll of thawed regular fillo, sliced it, chiffonade style, spread it on a sprayed cookie sheet, and baked it at 375 until golden (8-10 minutes).
For the Nests: (adapted from a recipe from Cookie Swap by Julia M. Usher)
1/2 roll phyllo dough cut in thin strips and toasted
1/4 c. melted unsalted butter
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 t. cinnamon
Combine in a bowl, tossing until well-coated
Fill 18 muffin tin cups, sprayed with butter-flavored cooking spray half-way full with mixture, pressing up sides and on bottom to form nests. Bake about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare Cheesecake Filling:
1 1/2 packages (12 oz.) cream cheese, softened
6 T. plus 2 t. granulated sugar
2 room temp eggs, well-beaten (or one extra-large egg)
3/4 t. lemon zest
1 t. vanilla
Beat cream cheese on medium until smooth. Gradually add sugar, one spoon at a time. Measure 5 T. of beaten egg, and add to cream cheese mixture. Beat until smooth. Reduce speed to low and beat in lemon zest and vanilla.
When nests are baked, reduce oven temp to 350. Fill nests almost to the top with cheesecake filling. (Makes 18 nests)
Bake again another 13 minutes. Filling should be set and slightly puffy. Cool in muffin pan, then carefully remove nests to platter with offset spatula (I used a spoon.)
When completely cooled, just before serving, top with robin's egg candies (malted milk chocolate balls).