Archive for ‘Cookies and brownies’

October 21, 2010

Strawberry & Cream Cheese Cookies

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December 22, 2009



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December 22, 2009

Nutmeg Cookies

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December 21, 2009

Orange Cookies

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December 21, 2009

Dr. Pepper Cookies

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November 25, 2009

Cranberry Scones

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January 1, 2009

Cannoli Filling


I am posting this recipe in two parts for a few reasons, primary because with the shells recipe and the filling, this becomes a grossu entry.  Also, if you are using store purchased cannoli shells, you won’t need to weed through the shell recipe to make filling.

The filling for cannoli has a very simple base recipe that allows you to get very creative.  After you create the base, you can fold in diced dried candied fruit – such as you would use for fruit cakes, chocolate chips, shaved candy bars – I prefer Andes mint shavings, minced nuts – like pistachio, spices – like cinnamon or nutmeg, liquor – such as Kahlua or brandy or rum, citrus zest – oranges work well, marachino cherries, or you can leave it plain.  Keep in mind that a cannolo is about five inches long and so your filling is four inches long by one inch diameter – in other words, a little goes a long way.

When filling cannoli, only do it right before serving, as the filling can make the shell soggy.  It is also best if you chill the filling in your pastry bag (or as you will see me use, a zip loc baggie) for about 20 minutes in the freezer before filling, so that it is very firm.

Ricotta should be whole milk, not even reduced fat.  The skim or low fat ricotta tends to have more run off which will cause the filling to be more runny – not a good thing at all.

You can dress up your serving plate with a powdered sugar dusted paper doily, drizzled melted chocolate, or powdered sugar.  I serve mine with a fork, but that is more for just scooping up any filling that falls out.  Cannoli was meant to be picked up and eaten as it is a carnival treat in Sicily.


1     15 oz. container of whole milk ricotta

3/4 cup powdered sugar

  • In a large mixing bowl, blend both ingredients throughly on low speed with an electric mixer.
  • Do not over beat, only beat until mixed.
  • Using a spatula, fold in any selected add ins.
  • Pack filling into an air tight container or pastry bag.
  • Chill before using to fill cannoli tubes.

If using add ins, I have listed below the measuring amount that you want to use.  Remember for all solid add ins, to reduce the amount of each if you are adding in more than one:

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon*
  • 1 teaspoon liquor
  • 1 tablespoon dried candied fruit, diced
  • 1 tablespoon citrus zest
  • 1 tablespoon semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut, shaved
  • 1 tablespoon pistachio nuts, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ice cream sprinkles
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate candy bar, shaved or grated

*McCormick makes a cinnamon spice with a built in grater that is awesome for grinding fresh cinnamon.  Each bottle is less than $2 and I absolutely love this!


January 1, 2009

Cannoli Shells


It doesn’t get much more authentic Sicilian than cannoli, which is often confused with being an Italian pastry, but make no mistake, this is Sicilian, specifically in the northern area near Palermo.  My family and I lived just north of Catania, but I remember there was this bar (which is more like a cafe in the US, not a drinking spot) at the base of Etna that we would pass all the time going home and once in a while, Daddy would pull in there and I could go pick out my own cannolo.  And an orange soda, but I had to down both fast before we got home because my mom didn’t approve.

In order to make cannoli shells, you MUST have a cannoli form.  No questions about it.  If you don’t already have a set, please read on before you buy.  Cannoli forms are simply metal tubes that look a lot like windchimes.  You want forms though that have a slightly raised edge at the seam and give a bit.  This is absolutely critical when you go to release the shell.

If you do not want to make the shells, most bakeries carry horns, which will work.  If you have a speciality shop in your area, you may be able to find premade shells in the cookie section.


3/4 cup flour, sifted

1/8 cup butter

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 Tablespoon Marsala *

1 egg white, stirred briskly

1 egg white, unstirred

* If you do not want to use wine in your recipe, you can substitute with 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon brandy or rum flavouring.  And as always, if you wouldn’t drink it in a glass, don’t cook with it – this calls for Marsala wine, not cooking wine!

  • Heat fryer to 350 F, or fill a heavy saucepan 4 inches deep with vegetable oil over medium heat to 350 F*
  • In a large mixing bowl, dump flour and butter and cut with a case knife until blended.
  • Add in remaining ingredients EXCEPT UNSTIRRED EGG WHITE and cut with knife until well blended.
  • On a floured surface, knead the dough thoroughly.
  • Tighten into a ball and cover with cheesecloth for an hour.
  • Roll out thinly with rolling pin on floured surface.
  • Continue rolling until dough is about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Use either 4″ diameter cookie cutter, or cut around a 4″ diameter bowl to make 6 round circles.
  • Spray form with an aerosol cooking spray or lightly butter with fingertips.
  • Lay one edge of circle at edge of form, roll form slowly until ends meet.
  • Using fingertips, seal with unstirred egg white.
  • Promptly lower form into prepared frying oil.
  • Lift form from oil with metal strainer or tongs once form rolls and cannolo shell is a golden tan.
  • Lay out on paper towels until form is cool to touch.
  • Press on seam and gently guide cannolo shell off of form.
  • Using a sifter or tea strainer, you can top with sifted powdered sugar.
  • You can also melt chocolate flavoured almond bark and use the back of a spoon to ‘paint’ chocolate onto the insides of the shells.
  • Melted chocolate flavoured almond bark can also be drizzled over the top of the shells.

*Use a candy thermometer to test temperature, or throw in a piece of unused dough to test temperature.  When the dough turns and rises, oil is ready.







January 1, 2009

Forgotten Cookies



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