Mini Cream Cheese Sweet Samosas (Samboosak)
These tiny ‘lil sweet treats will disappear off the plate in no time! Bite-size crispy samosa wrappers filled with cream cheese and sweetened with a drizzle of thick sugar syrup. Good luck stopping at one!
Welcome back to Cleobuttera’s Ramadan Special!
We’re celebrating the month with 10 Middle Eastern desserts, just like how we do it in Egypt!
I hope you’re ready for number 3, because you won’t be able to stop eating them.
They’re one of those things that should come with a warning label for their highly addictive nature…so proceed with caution.
Consider yourself warned……
Nothing, and I mean nothing, disappears on our iftar (breaking fast meal) table quite as fast as these little munchies.
For some unrecalled reason, it’s become a habit to bring them out alongside the dates and Arabic coffee as a pre-iftar appetizer instead of dessert. So I just want you imagine for a second, what happens when a plate of this yumminess is presented first thing to a BIG family (insert image of My Big Fat Greek Wedding here) who hasn’t put a single thing in its mouth for more than 15 hours!
We never seize to be hopeful about having some leftover for dessert, but nope…not a chance! Not when those kids are continuously roaming around the crime scene.
Something about the charm of their bite-sized nature that makes them seem so snack-y like popcorn. So people don’t feel as guilty or as full scarfing down a dozen.
So how exactly small are these little triangular treats?
Dangerously cute! That’s how tiny they are.
You might or might not be tempted to pretend you’re giant holding one.
If you wanna get more technical, they are 1/4 the size of an average samosa. Or samboosak. You say po-tay-toe, I say po-tah-to. You say samosa, I say samboosak. So which is it gonna be?
Can’t we just go with ‘Delicious’? Because that’s what they are.
I mean…delicately thin pastry wrapped around cream cheese, lightly fried to crispy goodness then drizzled with a sweet syrup? C’moooooon. And the fact that they’re the size of your fingertip, makes them infinitely yummier!
I have never tried a sweet samosa (samboosak) before this one, but now that I have, its a game changer! Can you imagine the possibilities?!
My mom introduced us to these last Ramadan and while the concept was all new to us, we couldn’t help but agree that its a winning one.
The outside is super crispy, the inside is soft and creamy and that drizzle of syrup is just the perfect touch needed to turn them from savory to sweet. Mind you this is not an overly sweet dish, which is probably why we’ve come to accept eating it as a pre-iftar quick snack. The tanginess of the unsweetened cream cheese, offsets the sweeteness of the syrup, making for just the right balance.
Now I’m gonna be completely straight forward with you here. Wrapping these samosas are pretty time consuming. One package of samosa wrappers will make approximately 160 minis, so you do the math! I don’t mean to turn you off from making them, because boy they’re worth it, but you’re definitely gonna be needing some help. Or put on your favorite show and get rolling:)
But there’s good news!!! Once the minis are wrapped, they could be frozen! Which means you could slave over them only once, freeze and enjoy sparingly later.
Your future self will thank you.
Now let me show you how you could make them!
You first need to unwrap some cream cheese squares and cut each square into sixths. (You could still use cream cheese that comes in tubs or brick-style, but the squares just makes it easier to divide equally. In that case you’ll use about a 1/4 teaspoon-ish of cream cheese per mini samosa).
Now you’re gonna take a pack of samosa (samboosak) wrappers out of its packaging. Keeping all the sheets intact, you’ll then slice them in 4 equal stacks. So first cut in half vertically then once again horizontally.
Now here comes the tricky part (and almost a dozen of unmanicured hand photos). I promise its only confusing for the first couple times and then you’re gonna become a pro and actually become kind of fun! So hang on!
Hold one sheet of wrapper with one hand, then using the other hand, pick the upper left corner of the wrapper, pull it down and form an inverted cone around your finger.
You’ll then insert one piece of the cut up cream cheese inside the cone, then gently press it down to flatten.
The folding part is easy. Just lift the long, dangling side of the sheet up to cover the exposed piece of cheese. From there, just continue wrapping the long side of the sheet around the cheese triangle. When you reach the end, you’ll be left with a tiny piece of sheet hanging out. Dab that little piece with a thin layer of egg white (this will act as a glue), then grab that piece and tuck it inside the pocket of the triangle to close it up.
That wasn’t hard:)
Now grab a friend, preferably friend(s) and make 159 more 🙊
To cook, all you need a liiiiiiittle bit of oil just to cover the bottom. We’re not deep frying here. Keep the heat at medium, as you don’t want to overbrown them like I did. I was chasing sunlight for photography, so I guess my multicolored samosas are excused.
This color though, is what you wanna aim after. Lightly golden and crisp.
Time to serve! Just spread a thin layer of the syrup in the bottom of a pretty serving platter and arrange them whichever way your patience lets you.
Then drizzle with mooooooore syrup. Don’t drown them though.
My mom always serves them plain, no nuts whatsoever. But I couldn’t resist sprinkling them with pistachios, mainly for photography purposes, so its your call.
I also couldn’t settle on a background color. Teeheeeee 😄
So what are you waiting for?!
Savory samosas are literally SO last year…
Sweet and miniature are whats in right now!
So try ’em and let me know what you think.
- For the Sugar Syrup:
- 1½ cups (300g/ 10½oz) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (177ml) water
- Small squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about ½ teaspoon)
- For the Samosas (Samboosak):
- 1 (500g/ 1 lb) package samosa (samboosak) sheets, about 40 sheets (avoid the reduced-fat kind as it tends to break while wrapping)
- 27 squares individually wrapped cream cheese, such as Kiri, about 13oz/ 370g *(tub or brick-style cream cheese may be substituted)
- 1 egg white
- Vegetable oil, for pan frying
- chopped pistachios, for garnish (optional)
- In a medium saucepan, combine together the sugar, water and squeeze of lemon juice. Set on a stovetop over high heat. Try to avoid stirring it as it heats to prevent crystallization from happening, but if the sugar is not dissolving, then help it out with a few stirs. Once it comes to a boil, STOP stirring.
- Bring to a rolling boil, then immediately reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Set a timer! The syrup will thicken, and have a consistency similar to corn syrup. It should be slightly thicker than the average simple syrup used for kunafa.
- Remove from heat. Transfer to a medium bowl, liquid measuring cup or gravy boat and allow to cool to room temperature before using.
- Unwrap the cream cheese squares and cut each square into 6 equal pieces. If only tub or brick-style cream cheese is available to you, then use about a ¼ teaspoon-ish of that per mini samosa.
- Unwrap the samosa wrappers from its packaging and place on a cutting board. Leave all the sheets intact and stacked on top of each other; do not separate the sheets. Using a sharp knife, cut the stack of wrappers from the middle, vertically into 2 equal stacks. Then cut each stack in half horizontally. You should now have 4 equal stacks. Cover the samosa sheets with a clean tea towel to avoid drying out.
- Peel one sheet of samosa wrapper to work with at time, keeping the rest covered.
- Hold one sheet of wrapper with one hand, then using the other hand, pick the upper left corner of the wrapper, pull it down and form an inverted cone around your finger. Please refer to the step-by-step photos in the post. Insert one piece of the cut up cream cheese inside the cone. Gently press down the cone to flatten the piece of cheese. Lift the long, dangling side of the sheet up to cover the exposed piece of cheese. Continue wrapping the the long side of the sheet around the cheese triangle. When you reach the end, you should be left with a tiny piece of sheet hanging out. Dab that little piece with a thin layer of egg white (this will act as a glue), then grab that piece and tuck it inside the pocket in the triangle to close it up. Repeat with the remaining sheets. At this point, the samosa triangles can either be cooked right away or frozen for up to a month. (Please refer to the 'notes' below for more details about freezing.
- To cook the samosas, fill a large skillet with just enough oil just to cover the bottom of the skillet. Heat over medium heat until shimmering.
- Place enough samosas to fill the skillet without overcrowding it. Fry for about 2 to 3 minutes on the first side until golden in color and feels crisp to the touch, then turn them to the other side and cook for another minute or two until nicely colored and crisped as well. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
- When ready to serve, spread a thin layer of the sugar syrup on the bottom of a serving platter, then arrange the samosas over it. Drizzle with more syrup, but don't drown them. You might not need all of it. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature. They are best eaten the same day they're made.
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