Happy Chocolate Monday and this month’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! This is always such a fun post to make and write. I love introducing you to new bloggers you may not have discovered yet. My SRC Buddy this month is Raina of Connor’s Cooking. Raina loves both cooking and baking like I do. This is becoming a rare occurrence as most people prefer one over the other.
Raina’s blog is chock full of delightful recipes that had my mouth watering as I browsed for something to make for this month’s Secret Recipe Club. I had an incredibly hard time deciding which to make for you. I finally selected 15 possible recipes, including Chocolate Cobbler, Grilled Banana Splits, Oreo Mint Ice Cream and a fantastic Rocky Road Cookie Pizza! But in the end I decided on her Wonton Sundaes, adorable little baked wonton “cups” filled with sweetened cream cheese, nuts and fruit.
These individual desserts are perfect for dinner parties or holiday gatherings. They are two to three bites each, just enough to satisfy after a large dinner, a great addition to a dessert buffet, or something to nibble on during football games or the Olympics! The original recipe was terrific, but I added a little white chocolate to raise the quotient for Chocolate Monday!
I made a few other changes too, substituting mascarpone for the cream cheese, and adding some dried fruits, making this much more “Italian” in honor of The Artist’s favorite dessert, cannoli. If you don’t have the fruits on hand, you can also finely grate some orange rind into the cheese mixture and still have an outstanding filling.
You could even turn this into a savory appetizer by leaving out the vanilla, chocolate and fruits, adding savory seasonings to the mascarpone, and using onion and chili powder to sprinkled on the wontons before baking. Hmmm, I think I may need to make a second batch just to give this a try.
This is an incredibly easy dessert, with virtually no baking skill required. It would be a fantastic recipe for kids (with a little help from Mom) or those who think their ovens are just storage spaces. There is no dough to make because you are using pre-made wonton wrappers so you don’t have to worry about rolling it out or forming it.
If you haven’t worked with them before, wonton wrappers are squares of dough packaged in stacks of about 100, and usually found refrigerated near the produce section of the grocery store. You can use them to make ravioli, as the base for mini tacos, or even bake into your own seasoned “chips.” I will absolutely use the wonton wraps again – I loved the ease of preparation and high quality product.
You do need to be careful when placing them into the muffin cups. The melted butter makes them a little more delicate and my long fingernails poked a few holes in them as I was working with them. It did not affect the final product, but if the filling was more fluid it might have seeped through.
As I learned when baking for competition, you always want to make more than you think you need, so you have enough in case of mistakes or other “ooops”. There were several of mine where one or more of the points fell inward, making them almost impossible to fill. I set those aside and The Artist and I nibbled on them later.
I hope you head over to Raina’s blog and check out her delightful site. I know you will love her passion for cooking. She says that being in the kitchen is one of her favorite ways to spend her time … and it shows on every single page!
Have a wonderful week and Happy Chocolate Monday!!
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 24 square wonton wrappers
- 3 to 4 tbsp butter, melted, for brushing wontons
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp ground ginger (use cinnamon or nutmeg if you prefer)
- 12 fresh cherries if they are in season or maraschino cherries, stemmed, pitted and halved
- 8 oz mascarpone, at cool room temperature
- 1/4 cup chopped white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 3 tbsp finely minced European Mixed Fruit (from King Arthur), typical fruit bread combination, or candied fruit peel
- Set rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spray mini muffin cups with cooking spray or brush lightly with butter. Set aside.
- Prepare Wonton Cups: Place pecans on a baking sheet and bake until fragrant and lightly toasted, watching carefully and stirring as needed to keep them from burning. Set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl combine the sugar and ground ginger. Set aside.
- Place wonton wrappers on a clean work surface. Brush each lightly with melted butter and sprinkle with a little of the ginger sugar. Gently ease into prepared mini muffin cups, fluting if needed to make them fit, and leaving the edges flared slightly to create a cup shape.
- Bake for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer wonton cups to an ungreased baking sheet. If the bottoms are not browned, place the baking sheet in oven and bake 2 to 3 minutes longer or until bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The wonton cups can be baked early in the day and held at room temperature until ready to stuff and serve. Store in an airtight container at room temperature if you live in a humid area.
- Prepare Filling: Wash the cherries and remove stems. Using a very sharp paring knife, slice each cherry in half, spinning the knife around the pit. Carefully separate the halves and discard the pits. Place the cherry halves into a small bowl and set aside.
- Place the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of slowly simmering water. White chocolate is very delicate and burns easily, so stir it often to keep it moving. When it is mostly melted, take it off the heat and set aside to finish melting and cool slightly before adding to the mascarpone.
- Beat the mascarpone, melted white chocolate, and vanilla together until smooth. You can prepare the filling to this point up to a day or two in advance. Store in refrigerator and set out at room temperature for about 20 minutes before continuing.
- To Assemble: When you are ready to serve, stir the fruits and pecans into the mascarpone mixture. Spoon or pipe into cool prepared wonton cups. Top each with a cherry half. Serve immediately.
- Yield: 24 pieces.
- You do not want to fill these too far in advance or the wontons will become soggy and you will lose the wonderful crunch!