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foodie fridays

Smoked Cherry Bombs? What is this sorcery? Cooking Light is cooking up a little magic for the upcoming 4th of July celebrations you may (or may not) have planned. I don't know what I will be doing yet. Maybe I'll just sit at home and watch the fireworks and eat all these Cherry Bombs.

  • /2 cup cherry wood chips
  • 12 dye-free maraschino cherries with stems (such as Tillen Farms)
  • 2 ounces almond paste
  • 5 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 2 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Dash of salt
  • 4 (14 x 9 inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Pierce 10 holes on one side of the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch disposable aluminum foil pan. Place holes over element on cooktop; place wood chips over holes inside pan. Heat element under holes to medium-high; let burn 1 minute or until chips begin to smoke. Arrange cherries on opposite end of pan. Cover pan with foil. Reduce heat to low; smoke cherries 5 minutes. Remove from heat; uncover.
3. Combine almond paste and 1 tablespoon sugar; beat with a mixer at medium speed until mixture resembles damp sand. Add cream cheese, vanilla, and salt; beat until combined.
4. Place 1 phyllo sheet on a work surface (cover remaining dough to keep from drying); lightly brush with butter. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Repeat layers with remaining phyllo, butter (save a little butter for the outsides), and sugar. Cut 12 (3 1/2 x 3-inch) rectangles through phyllo layers using a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Place 1 teaspoon almond mixture in the center of each phyllo stack; press 1 cherry, stem up, into almond mixture. Gather corners of phyllo, and press around stem to seal, forming a pouch. Gently brush pouch with remaining butter. Place pouches on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375° for 13 minutes or until crisp. Cool on pan on a wire rack.


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