i’m not sure if cannolis are a thing beyond the reach of NJ, but in this NYC metro area they are a thing. if you’ve never had one, they’re just wonderful. the shell is typically fried and filled with a pastry cream that’s sweet, but not too sweet. the other day i stumbled on a recipe for mini cannoli cups and knew i just had to attempt these at home. i must say, not too shabby!
i followed two recipes, but ultimately if you want to make these i recommend gimme some oven’s recipe. don’t let the cornstarch freak you out. for me it made me a little nervous because it made it feel like there were so many more steps. there aren’t. just try it!
i used cooking with sugar’s recipe for the crust portion of my attempt. just note that if you follow cooking with sugar’s recipe, unless you make the crust very thin you will get a lot of crust flavor in your cannoli. this, you should know if you’ve never had a cannoli, is not what a cannoli tastes like. but, if you are a crust lover as i am, then definitely go this route. i think the won tons (a la gimme some oven) will give the filling the spotlight in every bite.
it’s amazing when your filling suddenly stiffens up on you – it will turn a pudding like consistency.
roll out pie crust with sugar and cinnamon (or use gimme some oven’s recipe and rock out your wontons – i think i would go with this version next time)
pop those bad boys in the oven
fill your cups up and dress with chocolate chips. dust with powdered sugar if you like.
Recipe from Gimme Some Oven:
Makes approximately 30 servings:
- 1 package (16 oz.) wonton wrappers (***or use pie crusts; roll out with sugar and cinnamon pressed into the dough; everything else is exactly the same, even the precooking the crusts before filling)
- 1 container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/3 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- 2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips
- powdered sugar (for dusting)
In a bowl, slowly whisk 1 cup of the milk into the cornstarch until smooth. Let sit about 20 minutes.
Transfer mixture into a sauce pan, and then add in the remaining milk and sugar. Heat on medium-low, stirring constantly until it is very thick and smooth (about 7-10 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in the almond and vanilla extracts. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the filling to avoid “skin”, and let cool until the mixture reaches room temperature.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Then press 30-35 wonton wrappers (you can do this in multiple batches) into a mini baking cup pan to form the “cups”. (Be sure that the corners do not fold in after the pan sits for a minute!) Bake the cups for 10-15 minutes, or until the wrappers are golden brown. Remove and let cool.
After the milk mixture has reached room temperature, whisk in the ricotta and cinnamon until smooth. (You can also do this with an electric mixer on low.) Use a pastry bag to pipe the mixture into the baked wonton cups, or use a spoon to scoop it in. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips, then dust with powdered sugar. Refrigerate, or serve immediately.