mini cannoli bites

Cannoli BitesHow cute are these, guys?! This was my first attempt at making anything cannoli-related, and I am loving how they turned out! These teeny-tiny 1-or-2-bite confections are perfect for a party, and they have to be easier than making homemade full-size cannoli (no deep-frying or cannoli-molds required!)  Since the shells are baked instead of fried, they lose a bit of the crunch you might expect from a cannoli, but aside from that the flavor was spot on.  And baked is healthier, meaning you can eat more, right?!  The cannoli cream came out so sweet and, well, creamy… the leftovers were perfect as a dip with some cinnamon sugar pita chips.  I used homemade ricotta for these, which I would HIGHLY recommend – in my opinion, the flavor and texture can’t be beat.  And the process couldn’t be simpler.  If you haven’t had a chance to make your own ricotta yet, here is the perfect excuse!  If you do choose to go the store-bought route, the original recipe calls for you to start with 12 ounces of ricotta, which then needs to be drained through cheesecloth for at least 8 hours (or preferably overnight).

Cannoli Bites 2The cannoli cream here has a slight yellow-ish tint, which Daren said came from refrigerating them overnight – so just a heads up that if you make them ahead of time, that could happen.  When they were made fresh they looked much more white.


For the filling:

  • 1 batch homemade ricotta (or 12 ounces store-bought, drained overnight)
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

For the shells:

  • 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 2 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 1 large egg white
  • ½ cup apple juice*
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar*
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray

To serve:

  • mini chocolate chips and/or powdered sugar
*1/2 cup Marsala wine can be substituted for the apple juice and vinegar.
To make the filling, combine all ingredients and stir together until thoroughly combined.  Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use, at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
To make the cannoli cups, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse briefly until combined.  Add the butter, then pulse to combine; repeat with the egg white.  In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the juice and vinegar.  With the food processor running, slowly pour the liquid down the feed tube, continuing to mix only until the dough forms a ball.  If the dough won’t come together quickly, add more flour a tablespoon or 2 at a time until a ball forms.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Once thoroughly chilled, split the dough into 2 even pieces, keeping the ball you are not working with refrigerated.  On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8″ thickness.  Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut rounds of dough, re-rolling as needed.  Transfer the dough rounds to a mini muffin pan, pressing down gently to mold the rounds to the cups.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly bubbled up.  Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.  Repeat with the remaining dough.
To assemble, use a large star tip to pipe the cannoli filling into the shells.  Top with miniature chocolate chips and powdered sugar as desired.
Yield: 48 cannoli bites
Source:  adapted from Cooking Classy

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  1. these are so cute!

  2. Joe is right about the difference beweetn large curd and small curd(which is pretty much ricotta). However, I can address the other part of your question.Traditionally, ricotta is made from the whey waste from making a hard cheese. The whey is reheated and acid is added, causing whatever protein is left to coagulate into ricotta, so nothing is wasted. If you do the same thing with whole milk(heat it and add acid) the same thing will happen to the protein, there is just much more of the protein to coagulate so you get more cheese out of it. It’s not traditional to make ricotta out of whole milk, but the product is the same, and it’s much easier and more convenient than making large wheels of hard cheese to get some ricotta!!

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