1 can Chocolate Sweetened Condensed Milk (substitute plain sweetened milk to which you added special dark chocolate cocoa powder to taste)
12 ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
5 cups Fresh Michigan Cherries, washed and pitted
1/2 cup Water
2 tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
2/3 cup Granulated Sugar
4 tablespoons Cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
3/4 cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 teaspoon Butter
16 pieces Fresh Cherries
Thaw pastry sheets at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Unfold the pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface and then cut each sheet into 3 strips along the folds, and then cut each strip into 4 rectangles. Place strips 2-inches apart on baking sheets, and bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheets and cool on a wire rack.
Place the cold water in a 2 cup glass measuring cup and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let stand for 2 minutes. Microwave for 2 minutes or until gelatin is dissolved. Cool
Pour the cold whipping cream into a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed while gradually adding the dissolved gelatin. Continue beating until soft peaks form. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the chocolate sweetened condensed milk and beat until thoroughly combined. Carefully fold in the whipped cream until fully incorporated. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
Ina large saucepan over medium heat, combine the cherries, water, lemon juice sugar and cornstarch. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and cook while stirring frequently, about 10 minutes until thick. Stir in the almond extract and set in refrigerator to cool.
Split cooked pastry sheets into 2 layers, making 48 pieces in all. Set aside 16 top layers. Spread 16 layers with 2 tablespoons of the whipped cream mixture. Top with a spoonful of the cherry filling, then top with another pastry layer. Repeat once, and place a top layer sheet on top.
Melt chocolate chips and butter in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth. Dip 16 cherries into the melted chocolate and let dry. Drizzle the melted chocolate over assembled Napoleons and top with a chocolate dipped cherry in the middle.
Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerated for up to four hours.