Sunday, March 10, 2013

Quick Cannoli with Cream Cheese Filling

These are fabulous. They were concocted an hour before having to arrive at our destination. Thusly, these are quick to make, and oh-so-fabulous, did I already mention that? I had phyllo dough on hand, a new package of cream cheese, and a bar of fine chocolate. I thought a cannoli-inspired dessert would be lovely. I had never made proper cannoli before, and they seem a little heavy anyways. I could be wrong, but for now the phyllo dough replacement seems to make this dessert a little lighter.. well it's just in my mind I'm sure (butter? cream cheese? chocolate? yeah not so much). I found a really helpful post here on actually going about forming the cannoli shape using phyllo dough. I also found a delicious link here for the cream cheese filling.

I didn't have much time this particular evening to take photos as Billy and I baked, but the process is very important for this dessert. I later illustrated the process for those who are visual learners:
Click HERE to view image larger.


Phyllo-Dough Cannoli with Whipped Cream Cheese Filling
"ORIGINAL IDEA" BUT AFTER RESEARCH ADAPTED FROM Home Cooking in Montana AND Zoom Yummy
TIME: 30 MIN YIELD: 16 

Ingredients:
16 sheets of phyllo dough
3/4 cup butter, melted
8 squares of foil
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1 cup cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
-
8 oz high quality chocolate, I used 70% bittersweet

How To:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare two baking sheets with foil (to keep them clean).

2. Use cannoli forms, or make disposable forms with foil. Gently and evenly roll up foil squares into a tube.

3. Phyllo Dough: Brush 1 sheet of phyllo dough with melted butter. Fold in half, and then fold again to make a square. Apply soft pressure. Place foil form on one end of phyllo dough square. Gently roll up around form, and place seam-side down on a baking sheet.

4. Bake phyllo dough cannoli at 350ºF for 10-12 minutes, or until slightly browned and crispy. Immediately, carefully remove the foil from the cannoli. Once the cannoli comes to room temperature they're a little too fragile to remove the foil.

5. Make the cream cheese filling: Using a mixer on high, whip cream cheese for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup powdered sugar. Mix until integrated. Scrape sides of bowl when needed. Add the 2nd cup of powdered sugar, nutmeg, vanilla, and milk. Mix for 3 -5 minutes or until light and fluffy.

6. Scoop cream cheese filling into piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe filling into both sides.
 
7. In a small sandwich-sized plastic bag, add chocolate. Microwave for 15 seconds. Take out of the microwave and apply pressure to the bag with fingers. Break up the chocolate as much as you can. Repeat process until chocolate is melted down smoothly. Only repeat two times, three at most; too much heat will dry out the chocolate.

8. Using scissors, snip the corner of the plastic bag, the opening about as big as the tip of a pen. Drizzle the chocolate over the stacked, filled cannolis.

Best if served within 4 - 5 hours of making. Refrigerate any leftovers.

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