To commemorate my return to blogging, I decided to post these cannoli cups. Now I know it's a Christmas-themed recipe and well Christmas is over. And I know we are all trying to forget all those calories we consumed in the last few weeks. I should be posting quinoa-kale-salady recipes, but I had to share these. Even if you don't make them until next Christmas-trust me- you won't regret it. These cannoli cups give you all the pleasure of eating a cannoli in bite size form. See it's sort of New Year's resolution friendly, right?
The original recipe I found on Pillsbury.com. The recipe actually comes from a fellow recipe blogger, Arlene Cummings, from her site, "Cooking With Sugar! How cool is that! After reading some reviews, I took some of the advice and decided to strain the ricotta cheese overnight. Other claimed their filling never set up and Arlene suggested straining the ricotta before making the filling. Because I was making these for a get together with co-workers the last thing I wanted was soupy filling. The ricotta cheese I used was actually quite thick, so it might not have been necessary. I would recommend straining if your ricotta cheese is liquidy.
I changed the filling recipe slightly by adding some almond extract. I am in love with almond extract. I think the little bit of almond extract was the ticket to making the filling taste like these cannolis in the North End of Boston. Mmm, Mike's pastry...if you have never been..well go. And if you can't go. Well, then make these.
P.s. Like my new camera?! Yup, that's right I have upgraded for my phone camera to a real camera. Ok, it is nothing fancy. But it's a start right?
note: I actually made these over the course of three days. I first made the pastry cups and stored at room temperature. The second day I strained the ricotta cheese. And on the third day, I made the filling and piped it into the cups. Fill only when you are ready to serve! The second day they were definitely a little soggier, but still delicious.
1 container (15 oz) part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 package of store-bough pie crust
3 Tablespoons turbinado sugar (I didn't have any raw sugar, so I used granulated sugar!)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. In large bowl, beat all filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Place filling in 1-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag; refrigerate while making cups.
2. Heat oven to 425°F. On lightly floured work surface, unroll pie crusts. Sprinkle each crust with turbinado sugar and cinnamon. Lightly roll rolling pin over sugar and cinnamon to press into pastry. With 2 1/2- to 3-inch round cutter, cut out pastry rounds. Lightly press each pastry round into ungreased mini muffin cup.
3. Bake about 10 minutes or until pastry cups are golden brown. Cool completely in pans, about 15 minutes. Remove from muffin cups to cooling racks.
4. Just before serving, remove filling from refrigerator. Cut 1 bottom corner off bag; pipe scant tablespoon filling into cooled pastry cups. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and sprinkles. Serve immediately. Store any remaining pastry cups at room temperature and filling in refrigerator.