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! Plus…recipe VIDEO at the end of the post!
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 is enough oil to cover the bottom. We’re not deep frying here, although you could if you want. 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.
Need another look? Check out the video!
It shows you how to make both cream cheese and cinnamon walnut samosas! So you can make a bit of both ?
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!
For the Sugar Syrup:*
- 1 1/2 cups (300g/ 10 1/2oz) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (177ml) water
- Small squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 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, to seal the dough (may be substituted with flour paste)*
- Vegetable oil, for pan frying
- chopped pistachios, for garnish (optional)
To make the Sugar Syrup: (may also be substituted with Big Batch Sugar Syrup)
- 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.
To make the samosas (samboosak):
- 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 1/4 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 damp 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 or flour paste (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.
- Freeze the samosa triangles for at least 1 hour or up to a month. Freezing helps prevent the cheese from leaking out, and sets the "glue."
- To cook the samosas, fill a large skillet with enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet, about 1 cm high. Alternatively you may also deep fry in a lot of oil, if you prefer, or in as little a couple of tablespoons of oil for a healthier variation. 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.
- Sugar syrup may be substituted with Big Batch Sugar Syrup.
- Both an egg white or a flour paste may be used to seal the dough. To make the flour paste, stir together 2 1/2 tablespoons (19g) flour with 2 tablespoons sugar until a smooth paste forms.
- Filled (not fried) samosas keep really well in the freezer, for up to 1 month. You could double (or quadruple) the quantity and store in the freezer in zipper lock bags until needed. Just allow to thaw slightly, for about 10 minutes, until you heat the oil, before frying.
Measurements Note: All recipes of this site have been developed using weight measurements. Although US volume measurements have been included for your convenience, it is highly encouraged that you weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale to get the best possible results. Due to the sensitive nature of baking, kitchen scales are proven to yield more accurate and consistent results than measuring cups. Enjoy!
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Bless you for going thru so much effort in the summer during fasting to make these gems! I loved your silver tray, where did you buy it from? And are the samosa wrappers that you use the same as the wrappers from the indo/pak stores?
Thank you so much Iram for your kind appreciation. Isn’t the tray a beauty?! It’s actually borrowed from my sister-in-law lol! I think most of this blog’s props are sponsored by either my mom or sister-in-law. I steal their stuff all the time :)) I asked her for you though, and she said that she got it from a trip to Germany. It’s kind of her hobby to collect unique home decor and tableware wherever she goes.
I use samosa wrapper that are you manufactured in Saudia Arabia, because that’s what we have here in Egypt. My cousin who lives in California, says that she uses the ones from indo/pak stores and that they’re essentially the same thing. So yeah…same same :))
Wow those are CUTE.
(Aaand you have quite alot of patience to arrange those babies that way in the tray…….)?
Love you sooo much Tasbih. May Allah’s help, blessings and barakah be with you always. And remember me in your prayers….
You’re such a sweetheart Miss Muss. Thank you so much for all the love and prayers 🙂
Hello!!! I love this initiative of Middle Eastern (Near East in my case!) food. I don’t know if you have planned every meal you are gonna post, but I would love to hear your recipe of “Shakshouka” (i’m not sure if it is from morroco or egypt tho…).
And i think it already has been told, but it is so brave of you to cook this amazing food during fasting!!! I had a muslim girl in my class in school, and she told me you guys can only eat during night time, right?
Hi LaVerne! It’s so good to hear back from you! Oh my God I love Shakshouka! I’m not quite sure of the origin, but one thing I’m sure of is that its darn popular in Egypt. I just made a figure friendly version almost a month ago, because believe it or not, I’m a health nut when it comes to main meals so I could eat dessert. It’s all about the balance right? Please feel free to email me so I could pass you the recipe along with a few links for some great looking ones.
I’m so happy you’re enjoying the Middle Eastern series. I actually made and photo shot all of the recipes before Ramadan started, because its a very busy month over here. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t cook and bake while fasting. Oh we cook and cook and cook, but surprisingly its not as difficult as it sounds. You’re friend is right! We don’t eat anything from sunrise till sunset. People tend to freak out when they hear that, but its totally ok and completely doable. The first couple of days are usually the toughest because the body is still adjusting to the new system, but then we get used to it and it eventually feels like any other day.
I love your recipes and the twist that you give is amazing for traditional recipes.
Am from somalia I live in UK. I love love ur blog mashallah. Keep the hard work.
Thank you Amina so much! Your sweet comment means so much to me. I’m so happy you’re enjoying the blog. Thank you for reading along.
Hai Tasbih, I love your site so much! I wan’t to make everything on it!
I had a question though. I made these cute little samboosaks, but in my case the cheese was slightly oozing out when I cooked them in oil. Do you know what I can do in this case??
Thanks a million,
Lot of love from a Turkish girl in the Netherlands
Hi Z! I’m always so flattered whenever someone Turkish makes my recipes because you guys make the best dessert EVER! I will never forget the amazing food I had when we visited Istanbul?
The key to avoiding the oozing is to make sure that the samboosaks are very tightly wrapped so you can barely see any holes in the corners. Second thing is frying. Reduce the oil as much as possible. I only add like a tablespoon of oil and then keep adding more whenever the skillet starts to dry out.
Another thing that could help is freezing your wrapped samboosaks until 15 minutes before you start frying. Working with cold samboosaks really helps reduce the chances of the cheese oozing.
I hope that helps Z!
Thanks for your comment 🙂
I agree that our desserts are to die for, but your creations might beat a lot of them! I think a trip to Egypt is a MUST now. I wanna make everything you posted, just can’t find the time :(.
Thanks for the tips, my next try, I will keep them in mind. I do have to say that could not find the samboosak sheets, so I tried it with egg roll sheets, but I could not wrap them as perfect as yours. I am gonna find those wrappers first, I won’t give up. I was so cautious the second time frying, I put them on a very low heat and the exterior was way to dry.
Happy belated Eid to you! It has been crazy busy this week, so I could not respond sooner.
Thanks for all your beautiful work :).
Oh Z you are more than welcome to come visit Egypt anytime! Be sure that I’ll keep you well fed?
I think that egg roll sheets are better suited for deep frying otherwise it won’t crisp up so nicely. Samboosak (samosa) wrappers are much thinner and more delicate so just the tiniest bit of oil crisps it up. But you know what else can work? Phyllo sheets! I love these! I used them for my savory cheese samboosaks and they worked really well. You could even bake your triangles instead of frying.
Happy Eid to you too honey:)
Hi! I just wanted to say that we made these and they were lovely. It’s a shame I can’t send you the picture because they looked great on the eid table.
Wow! it worked for me..Last week i made this when my friend Afreen came to my house and yes it was a big success.
Wow that was one heck of a samosa party ? You must’ve been folding samosas non stop…I salute you for that! I could never do these on my own…always with someone; which is great actually because we talk & talk & talk? I’m so happy you look the sweet version too. Thanks for all your comments.
This is infact one of the good recipe i tried last week.every day i use to try recipes from different cuisine. Last week i made your mini cream cheese sambosek but did a small twist here. I added some vegetables herre. Anyways it was good. I also made Chicken kabsa which was also a good strike. will share with the link for you http://www.nestle-family.com/recipes/english/chicken-kabsa_8177.aspx
Ok I’m starting to connect the dots here…were you by any chance with Ann? Hahahaaa same menu! You must be Afreen she was referring too. Thank you so much for sharing your feedback. I’m so happy you loved this recipe as much as we do!
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I made these for Iftar yesterday and they were a huge hit! I’m a huge fan of your blog, and even though I’m only 16 (and very clumsy), I have quite the reputation as a “baker” because your AMAZING recipes always turn out FLAWLESS!!! I hope one day I can be a glorious baker like you Ms. Tasbih, I look forward to trying more of your recipes 🙂
Sabrina it’s so wonderful to hear that they were hit! The fact that you were able to fold impossibly tiny miniature samboosaks like these proves that you are as far from clumsiness as can be. I applaud you for your cleverness and encourage you to keep experimenting and exploring in the kitchen. With the kind of passion you have for baking, I’m pretty sure you’ll turn into a baking rock star ⭐️
Looks fab can other flavours be added to the creme cheese?
Are there other fillings which could be used instead?
Thanks Samk! I once tried an equal ratio mixture of cream cheese & mozzarella, & added orange blossom water & rose water to the sugar syrup. It was so YUM! You could also fill it with cinnamon/ground nut mixture like a classic baklava. Another idea would be Nutella. U could really just add anything you love. The world is your oyster here.
Thanks for the detailed post! Made these last year in Ramadan and they were an instant hit! Looking forward to making them again this year…. thanks again ?
Its really my pleasure Mohsina! SO glad you enjoyed these 🙂
this is ma menu for today inshaallah
Woooooohooooooo! Hope you love it!
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i just love this great food.. really nice blog with great receipies just keep it up
Thank you Jimmu!
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Omg this is so gooood.
Loved the recipe and the samosas finished in less than a day?????
Reem I’m so glad they were such a hit! I’m impressed they lasted that long. They usually disappear within the first hour of iftar at our house ?
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It is really pleasure for me to read this article.
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