Sunday, March 9, 2014

A True Yanked Recipe

I don't know why no-one has ever attempted to make Cannoli's without cannoli forms before. Who makes cannoli's so often at home that you find yourself needing a form, let alone trying to find one in the nearest store? Although I adore these sweet Italian favorites, I don't make them as often as I should. Now here is a unique way of making these sweetened, crunchy, hand-held treats without bothering with the forms. Nothing has changed in the taste of my cannoli's compared to professionally made you find at restaurants and bakeries(Well, maybe for the better).

There are, however, two things that stand out here. First, anyone can do mine with no extra utensils than what you have at home. Secondly, my recipe is crispier and can withstand the dampness of the cheesy filling without getting soggy. So by all means, make these ahead and haul them out when you want. I am proud to be able to YANK recipes for the home cook and even prouder when professional chefs get just a little tweaked when it comes to playing with a classic. But why not tweak something in order for everyone to enjoy it? These taste BETTER than prepared cannoli shells, and as mentioned, they stay crisp(which will have even children devoouring them for the first time). So 'BAM' is out, 'YANKED' is in!


Crunchy Yanked Cannoli Shells

These are so perfectly balanced between sweet and crispy, I would never buy cannoli's unless I had no other choice. I think you will agree that this Yanked recipe will be your favorite Italian finger food as well. You may also opt to spend a little more money on the filling by substituting mascarpone cheese for the ricotta. Certainly this is fine, but allow the mascarpone to come to room temperature before mixing.

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted

2 egg whites

2 teaspoons vanilla

5 tablespoons flour

1 recipe Cannoli Filling, recipe below

1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Spray(or grease) 2 baking sheets liberally with nonstick cooking spray. Add butter to a microwavable bowl and heat, on high, for 1 minute, or until just melted but not scalding hot, making sure you cover the bowl. Let come to room temperature and beat in egg whites and vanilla. Whisk the powdered sugar into butter mixture until completely smooth. Add the flour and continue mixing until smooth.

Drop about a 2 tablespoon amount of batter onto cookie sheet. With the back of a spoon, spread batter to form a 6-inch circle, making sure the batter is evenly spread. Do the same with another mound of batter, at least an inch from the first. Bake for 4-5 minutes in the upper third of the oven, or until slightly browned around the edges. Remove and loosen with a spatula. Let sit for about 30 seconds, or until starting to stiffen.

Working quickly, roll the cannoli so the one side overlaps the opposite side. Set aside, resting seam-side down. The shells will hold their shape easily, and harden quickly. Repeat with other shell. Continue with remainder of batter.

While cooling, make cannoli filling. Dip each end of the shells into melted chocolate. Put cannoli filling into a plastic baggie and snip off a corner. Fill each shell and dust with additional powdered sugar if desired.

Makes about 6-8 cannoli shells.


Creamy Cannoli Filling

A delightful balance of sweet and salty. Many chefs add cinnamon and even bits of chocolate in their filling. I adore the subtle taste on the outside of the shell, as directed above, but by all means be creative. Have fun and have at it!

8 ounces ricotta cheese

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla

1 teaspoon Grand Marnier, optional

Empty ricotta cheese into a fine-meshed strainer and let drain for 30 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and beat in powdered sugar until well blended. Mix in extract and Grand Marnier, if using.


Fills 6-8 cannoli shells.

To make Mini Cannoli Cups, follow the above shell recipe but scoop out a teaspoon of batter onto prepared baking pan. Bake for 3-4 minutes or until they start browning around the edges. Remove, loosen with a spatula and form into "bowls" by pinching 4 corners to form a square on top. Fill with cannoli fillling when cool and drizzle melted chocolate over the top.

For Cannoli Scoops, follow the Mini Cannoli Cups recipe but form a teaspoon of the batter into oval shapes on prepared pan. When cooked, pinch together one end of the baked oval, forming a handle. The "spoon" part will form itself, which is perfect for dipping into a bowl of Cannoli Filling.


THEchef said...

I must say Yankee Chef, although I never post comments, this is a great recipe and I too(having been a chef for many MANY years)have never thought about NOT using a cannoli ring. Now I can. Keep up the fabulous work, you have a greater following than you know.

thisgalcooks said...

Bravo chef. Love your book and love your Yanked recipes. And you aren't too bad to look at either. But this post took the cake. It was the best cannoli I have ever had. If you find LA in your travels, I am a food blogger here and would love to show you around. I am not bad to look at either, hehehe.