Cranberry and Ricotta Napoleons

I miss being a kid. When I was a kid, the holidays meant running around like a banshee with my cousins, eating olives and pickles from my Grandmother’s adorable segmented dishes and sporting matching candy cane pajamas with my sister. It was magical. No worries, no pressure. Extravagant meals seemed to materialize out of thin air. The decorations changed with the seasons and the world was blanketed in a shimmering layer of snow.

Cranberry and Ricotta Napoleon

Fast forward to being in my early thirties and sadly, some of the magic is lost. Turns out elves don’t come in the night to prepare the turkey at 4am and not everything is the Toys R’ Us toy novel is just free for the taking.  Actually, none of it is free. Have you seen how much Legos cost these days? It’s scandalous. Point being, the holidays can be stressful, but now I have a little one and I see it as my duty to shield her from as much of the stress as possible. I want her to light up when she watches the snow fall. I can worry about what a bitch it is going to be to shovel our multi-level porch. I want her to look forward to treats that only show up at the holidays. I want to share that magic with her in the hopes that one day she will pass the magic on to her family and others around her.

Cranberry and Ricotta Napoleon


Cranberry and Ricotta Napoleons

  • Author:
  • Yield: 8 Napoleons 1x


  • 32 ounces whole milk ricotta
  • 8 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 sheets of frozen puffy pastry


  1. Thaw puff pastry according to package directions.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl combine ricotta, mascarpone, powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Mix on medium speed until mixture is smooth, without lumps. Place mixture in the fridge until ready to use.
  4. Cut 8 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch squares from the sheets of puff pastry. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
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  5. While the pastries cool, prepare the cranberry filling. In a small saucepan,combine cranberries, sugar, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and water. Bring to a slow boil and let simmer for five minutes until the cranberries break down and the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside.
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  6. To prepare napoleons, start by gently breaking one of the puff pastry squares in half. Use a piping bag to pipe the ricotta mix onto the bottom half of pastry. Spoon some of the cranberry mixture on top of the ricotta mixture and top with the other half of pastry. Finish by topping with a dollop of ricotta mixture and garnish with mint leaves.
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My love affair with food began on stepstools in the kitchens of the women in my family. Handing my great-grandmother carrots to grate for coleslaw, licking the beaters covered in my grandmother’s peanut butter frosting, and watching my mother cook up Italian dishes covered in cheese. To this day, I love cheese. Besides cheese, I love painting, ocean air, and the smell of tar after it’s rained. My husband Josh and I have created a little suburban farm with our Layla-Bug, a ridiculously hyper dog, and a one-eyed chicken. Someday, we hope to upgrade to a real country farm.

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