There were some phyllo dough leftovers occupying my fridge. I needed to get rid of it and that’s how these pastries were born. They are good and easy to make, and even worthy of buying a new package of phyllo. Don’t limit yourself by using exactly the same dry fruits as I did. Follow your preferences. It can be dates, figs, different nuts, whatever you prefer. If you decide to go with dates, you might want to sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds between the dough layers for adding some Middle Eastern flair. The possibilities are endless; use your imagination!
- 8 dry pitted apricots
- 8 dry pitted prunes
- 8 toasted almonds
- 8 toasted pecan halves
- 4 oz (1/2 package) cold cream cheese, cut into 16 squares
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, grated
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
- 8 phyllo sheets, thawed
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
If planning to bake the pastries right away, center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350F. Put one large baking sheet on top of another (to protect the pastry bottoms from heat). Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside.
Using a paring knife cut a slit in each fruit, stuff it with the creme cheese (use your pointing finger to generously pack the fruit with cheese), insert the almond into each apricot, and the pecan half into each prune. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine the sugar and chocolate together. Set aside.
Work with one phyllo sheet at a time. Cover the rest of the phyllo with plastic wrap first and then with a damp dish towel (avoid direct contact of the phyllo with a wet towel to prevent the phyllo from getting soggy). Put the phyllo sheet onto a working surface with a short side close to you. Brush one vertical half with some of the melted butter, sprinkle with about 2 scant tbsp of the sugar-chocolate mixture, then fold unbrushed half of the dough over the butter-brushed and chocolate-sprinkled one. Press lightly to adhere. Brush again with some butter and sprinkle with the same amount of the chocolate mixture. Using a pizza wheel cut the dough vertically in half. Working with one phyllo strip at a time, place the stuffed fruit close to the end of the strip. Fold one corner over the fruit, flip the covered fruit over to form a triangle and continue to roll it toward the end of the strip. If it makes any sense, the process is similar to folding a flag. It’s more difficult to explain than actually do, so, below is the illustration.
Continue with the second strip, and then with the rest of the phyllo. Place the triangles onto the prepared baking sheet and brush with melted butter. At this point, the pastries can be refrigerated covered with plastic wrap up to 3 days. Bake right from the fridge, without bringing to room temperature; but add a couple of minutes to the baking time.
Bake the triangles until light golden brown and crispy, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly on a rack, dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.