Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Mini Pizzelle Cannoli

Having an Italian grandmother, I grew up eating pizzelle.  They were never my favorite cookies, but they were part of our holiday tradition, and I loved to make ice cream sandwiches with them.  If you don't like to bake, Bella Lucia makes some pretty awesome gluten free pizzelle.  You can check out their website here.

One food that I have definitely missed in the past 5 1/2 years since going gluten free is cannoli.  In Pittsburgh, I loved to visit Moio's Italian Pastry Shop in Monroeville.  Their cannoli were amazing!  In the past, I have looked up gluten free cannoli recipes, but decided that making and frying the shells wasn't something I was interested in doing, no matter how much I loved and missed cannoli.  

Several months ago, I purchased Kyra Bussanich's cookbook Sweet Cravings.  Kyra was the first gluten free winner of Cupcake Wars, a favorite show of of ours.  I was so excited to see a recipe for Cannolizelli in her cookbook, using rolled gluten free pizzelle as shells for cannoli.  You can view the recipe here

Right away, I ordered a pizzelle iron from amazon.  I chose the Chef's Choice Express Bake because it already included a cannoli dowel.  I didn't realize that this pizzelle iron made three small 3-inch pizzelle until I opened it yesterday.  It worked out really well though, because the small pizzelle were so easy to roll, and they make such cute mini cannoli.  

Our pizzelle iron was easy to use and cooked up each batch in less than a minute.  There was no guess worked involved, because the green light came on when the pizzelle were done.

I only had to use a teaspoon of batter to make each pizzelle.

While I put the next batch in the pizzelle iron, my husband cut them apart.

He then quickly rolled each pizzelle around the cannoli dowel.  I was surprised at how quickly they set and how well they kept their shape.  

By the time we were done, we had an entire plate of mini pizzelle cannoli shells.  

For the shells, I followed Kyra's recipe, which you can view here.  I used 3 large egg whites at room temperature, organic cane sugar, unsalted butter, pure vanilla extract, baking powder, and Bob's Red Mill gluten free Tapioca Starch and Sweet White Rice Flour.   I weighed all of my ingredients on my kitchen scale, which makes baking so much easier!  I whipped my egg whites and sugar on high speed in my mixer to make them thick and fluffy, as described in the recipe.

I changed Kyra's filling recipe to suit my own tastes, and was blown away by how good it was combined with the pizzelle shell.

Cannoli Filling

15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 C (71g) powdered sugar
1/4 C (59g) heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp Vietnamese cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 T semisweet mini chocolate chips


In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta, powdered sugar, heavy cream, cinnamon, orange zest, and vanilla extract.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

I used the small spoon that came with my pizzelle iron to fill my cannoli, but you could use a pastry bag or a zip-top bag with a corner cut off to squeeze the filling into each shell.  Only fill the pizzelle shells when you are ready to eat them.  Store the pizzelle in an airtight container at room temperature.

My husband and I loved this dessert so much, we will be definitely be making it again on Christmas in future years.  


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