A bracket I can get behind

When it comes to sweet sixteen brackets, I don’t have the best of luck. For me, March Madness begins with as much naive excitement as the locker room of your favorite Cinderella team … and ends with crushed dreams and a $50 deficit in my bank account. Here’s to hoping that the Solo Foods Sweetest 16 recipe contest—the focus of this post—brings happier results. Fortunately (I think), my fate rests in the hands of you, my FANTASTIC readers …

As one of 16 (duh) bloggers chosen to participate in the contest, I was tasked with creating a dessert with at least one Solo Foods ingredient. Armed with pie fillings galore, I set out in search of glory. Many grueling practice sessions and several recipes later, I had my MVP: Dessert chimichangas, filled with a sweet, flavorful mix of apricot, cinnamon, almond and vanilla; fried to crisp golden perfection; doused in cinnamon sugar; and topped with a healthy dollop of mascarpone whipped cream. She shoots, she SCORES.

C’mon BWB readers—send me home with the championship. Vote for my recipe here (scroll down to vote for me!).

Apricot almond dessert chimichangas with cinnamon mascarpone cream

(6 servings)

You’ll need:

Chimichangas:

1 can Solo Foods apricot pie filling

6 small (taco-sized) flour tortillas

1/3 cup sliced almonds

 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

 1/8 teaspoon vanilla 

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Canola oil for frying

Cinnamon sugar coating:

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Mascarpone cream:

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 cup sugar

8 oz. mascarpone cheese

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all chimichanga ingredients (minus oil and tortillas). Spoon 2-3 heaping tablespoons of the mixture onto the middle of each tortilla. Fold up tortillas, burrito-style, so the ends of the “burrito” are tucked into the rolled tortilla. Secure each chimi with several toothpicks. Refrigerate for a couple hours–this will help ensure the chimis maintain their form during frying.

Meanwhile, make the mascarpone cream. Whip the whipping cream and sugar in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla and cinnamon. Beat in marscarpone cream and whip until the mixture is stiff again. Cover and refrigerate.

Mix cinnamon and sugar and set aside. You’ll use this to coat the chimis immediately after frying.

When ready to fry the chimis, heat several inches of oil (enough to cover the chimis completely) in a large pot over medium-high heat to between 360 and 375 degrees. Lower chimis in (two or three at a time) with a slotted spoon (toothpicks still inside) and fry until golden brown (about 3 minutes). Remove from oil with slotted spoon and place on a paper towel. Carefully remove toothpicks and immediately coat chimis in cinnamon sugar mixture.

Serve immediately with a side of mascarpone cream cheese.

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