Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cannoli



Here is the Second day of Christmas plate, from the collection that I bought at Williams-Sonoma last year. I love the french script and watercolor figures, representing verses from the traditional Christmas carol "Twelve days of Christmas."

I plan on using all twelve plates at some point during the Christmas season, and am saving the "first' day for something I am making on Thursday. You'll just have to stop back for another visit!

As the carol goes, "On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Twelve drummers drumming....

And on the Second day of Christmas my true love sent to me.....Two Turtle Doves.....

Well, we had a craving for Cannolis!

We did have some chocolate Turtle candies, but Cannolis sounded better!

Close to home, there are wonderful Italian pastry shops and they make the best cannolis. But if you are adventurous like we are, you might want to make your own and there are several recipes on the internet you can use. I'm posting the recipe we use, and there are many variations. My husband is bringing the cannolis to a teacher's holiday luncheon. I just ate one, don't tell him :-)

INGREDIENTS:

Shells:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons shortening
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 egg white
1 quart oil for frying, or as needed

Filling:

1 (32 ounce) container ricotta cheese (we use Impastata from the Italian market)
1  1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup lemon and orange zest
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the shortening until it is in pieces no larger than peas. Make a well in the center, and pour in the egg, egg yolk, Marsala wine, vinegar and water. Mix with a fork until the dough becomes stiff, then finish it by hand, kneading on a clean surface. Add a bit more water if needed to incorporate all of the dry ingredients. Knead for about 10 minutes, then cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

2. Roll out dough on floured surface about 1/16" thick. Cut into 3 1/2" circle, and with a rolling pin roll into ovals. Wrap around cannoli forms; seal the edges with the egg white and flaor the ends slightly.

3. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a deep heavy skillet. Fry shells on the tubes a few at a time for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden. Use tongs to turn as needed. Carefully remove using the tongs, and place on a cooling rack set over paper towels. Cool just long enough that you can handle the tubes, then carefully twist the tube to remove the shell. Using a tea towel may help you get a better grip. Wash or wipe off the tubes, and use them for more shells. Cooled shells can be placed in an airtight container and kept for up to 2 months. You should only fill them immediately or up to 1 hours before serving.

4. To make the filling, blend 2 lb (4 cups) ricotta until smooth. Fold in 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 4 Tsp vanilla. Mix in 1/2 cup lemon and orange zest, and 1/4 cup chopped chocolate. Chill several hours or overnight.

I like to dust with additional confectioners' sugar, mixed with some cinnamon.

Thank you for stopping by!

Debbie
Debbie@Mountain Breaths
Debbie@Mountain Breaths

THello, I'm Debbie.I enjoy hiking, kayaking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the Adirondack Mountains (thus Mountain Breaths). I live in Upstate NY with my supportive husband and have three precious sons..

5 comments:

  1. I've never tired making cannoli, Debbie! When I do, I will make your recipe :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love cannoli, Debbie, and I won't tell Joe you had one, if you give me one, too :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. OMG, those cannoli look scrumptious! Love the touch of dusting with sugar and cinnamon :))
    The decorated plate is just fabulous too!
    Monicax.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Debbie, wonderful post ...

    I remember the Wm-S 12 Days of Christmas plates ... Looking forward to your post on the Partridge in a Pear Tree. :)

    I LOVE cannolis ... I have early memories of eating them at my parents' favorite Italian restaurant. I was probably about 5 and was always given an extra maraschino cherry by the server.

    I was glad to learn about the impasta ricotta when you mentioned it on S & S.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have never had a cannoli but it sure looks like a decadent dessert. The flavors sound fantastic and your presentation is wonderfully done.

    ReplyDelete

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