Cranberry Phyllo Baskets

Cranberry Phyllo Baskets

Phyllo Baskets:
8 phyllo pastry sheets
20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
6 tablespoons finely ground dry breadcrumbs

Cranberry Topping:
1 (12 ounce package cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons water

Cream Cheese Filling
10 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
8 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 1/4 tablespoons grated lemon peel
2 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted husked hazelnuts (I’ve also used sliced almonds if I don’t have hazelnuts)

Place 1 phyllo sheet on work surface. (Cover remaining sheets with damp towel to prevent drying). Brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon breadcrumbs. Repeat with 3 more sheets. Do not sprinkle fourth sheet with breadcrumbs. Repeat entire process 1 more time for a total of 2 stacks of 4 sheets each. Mark off twenty 3 inch squares on each stack using ruler. Cut into squares using scissors or pizza cutter.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush 40 miniature muffin cups with remaining butter. Press 1 stacked phyllo square into each muffin cup, forming basket. Bake until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Transfer baskets to rack and cool to room temperature. (Can be prepared 2 weeks ahead. Store at room temperature)

Cook cranberries, sugar and water in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves, swirling pan occasionally. Increase heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook until berries pop, about 10 minutes. Refrigerate until cool. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead)

Blend cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add peel and juice.

Divide cream cheese, filling among phyllo baskets, spreading evenly. Spoon about 1 teaspoon cranberry topping over filling. Sprinkle with hazelnuts. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead and refrigerated) Bring to room temperature before serving).



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