Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mini Cannoli Cups

I am always on the lookout for easy to make and enjoy treats to be able to put together for a gathering with friends, a nice treat for the family after dinner or treats to take to parties or work. I tried my first cannoli when I was traveling for business in Boston. There was something very satisfying about the crunch of the shell and cool creamy, richness of the filling. I certainly didn't see Cannolis as something that I could undertake, but when I saw a friend share about mini cannoli cups on Facebook, I decided this might be the way for me to recreate this treat at home.

I made them for dessert on Sunday and the family thoroughly enjoyed them. My son even asked to pack one in his lunch the next day. At about 95 calories per cup, they can easily be a portion controlled dessert that allows you to enjoy a treat without too many calories - the bigger challenge is resisting eating more than one.

Mini Cannoli Cups

Yield: 24 cups

1 box refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 (15-ounce) package ricotta cheese
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips


Strain the ricotta cheese, using a cheese cloth or coffee filter. (you can skip this step, but it will give you a thicker filling) Place the cheese into your mixer bowl and add sugars and vanilla. Mix.

Place in a quart size bag and refrigerate. Filling can be kept in the fridge up to 3 days before using.

Preheat oven to 425.

Roll out pie crusts and sprinkle each all over one side with sugar and cinnamon. Roll over dough with rolling pin gently to push cinnamon and sugar into the pie crust.
Using a cup or biscuit cutter, cut out circles in the dough.

Lightly press the circles into ungreased mini cupcake pans to form a pastry cup. Gently prick the bottoms on the cups with a fork.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool completely.

About an hour before serving, make a small cut across the corner of the plastic bag to fill cups, squeezing the filling into each cup. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and dust with powdered sugar.


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