Usually, when I start a blog post, I’m fairly confident it will turn out OK. Occasionally, I’m certain it will be fine and then end up with entries like this or this. Then, there are days like today. Family dinner at five. Less than a week until I’m in England. Not sure how to balance the two. And somehow, against all odds, I manage to pull off something as impressive as this:While really, the entire time, I’m unsure whether I’ll have to resort to a store bought dessert or not.
Fortunately, this time through, I did manage to pull it off.
Now, that would provide a really good segue (apparently that’s how you say “Segway” as a noun when not referring to the two wheeled scooters, thanks Pete!) to a really easy way to save time in another aspect of your life: babysitting! I know a lot of my readers either need babysitters on short notice or know someone who does. However, regardless of your needs, I’d rather just let you all know of an awesome resource to check out: Babysitter’s Tonight. Bloggers like to help other bloggers, and a good friend from high school has started this site, which provides all sorts of awesome information about babysitters and activities for kids in the New England area. Actually, it’s got so much awesome stuff that I almost wish I had a legitimate excuse to be using it, so check it out!
Anyways, back to my adventure of the week: Mini Cannoli Bites. I found the recipe on Pinterest, but didn’t have the appropriate tools on hand. That didn’t stop me.
So this is a bit of a modification. Full disclosure: I think using a food processor instead of my methods would have turned out better. And straining the ricotta would have improved the consistency of the filling.
But if you’re shorter on time (like I was), my way works perfectly fine. In fact, between seven or eight of us we were able to kill 24 of these in under ten minutes, which is at least a testament to their deliciousness.
First, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until combined. Then, pour in the melted butter and beat with an hand mixer until well combined. Mine had pea-sized beads in it – a food processor would eliminate those. Add the egg white and beat to combine. In a separate measuring cup, combine the juice and white wine vinegar. Pour into the flour mixture and beat until the dough comes together. Now, that left my dough really wet. Like pour-into-a-brownie-pan wet. And the recipe online said I would be rolling it out. So I added more flour, stirring with a wooden spoon, until it looked like this:
Split the dough into two balls and put in plastic bags. Refrigerate for about an hour.
Meanwhile, make the filling. If you have the time to do so, strain the ricotta using cheesecloth and a fine mesh sieve. I had a set-up like this to do so:But then I realized that such a process would take eight hours in the fridge. I had four. That wasn’t going to work.
So I just pushed ahead and skipped the straining. Combine the ricotta with mascarpone in a bowl using a rubber spatula. Add the confectioners’ sugar and fold in. Cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour, or until ready to use.When the dough is ready, turn out onto a floured surface and sprinkle with additional flour. Roll to about an eighth inch thick. See the speckles in my dough? Again, I think a food processor would have solved that problem. Oh well.
Mini Cannoli Cups
- 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 large egg white
- 6 tablespoons apple juice
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- cooking spray
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese, strained
- 8 ounces mascarpone
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- mini chocolate chips, for topping
- Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add melted butter and beat using hand mixer until well combined.
- Beat in egg white until smooth.
- Combine apple juice and vinegar; add to flour mixture and beat until combined.
- Add flour and stir with wooden spoon until can be handled.
- Separate dough into two bowls and put in plastic bags. Refrigerate for an hour.
- Meanwhile, to make filling, use a rubber spatula to combine ricotta and mascarpone.
- Fold in confectioners’ sugar. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to fill cups.
- When dough is ready, roll out to 1/8 inch thickness and use a 2 inch round cookie cutter to make circles. Press into cups of ungreased mini muffin tin. Spray evenly with cooking spray.
- Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes or until golden. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.
- Fill piping bag with filling and pipe into cooled cups. Top with mini chocolate chips and refrigerate. Serve within the hour.