Delight in the simplicity and elegance of Mini Cannoli Cups, featuring whole-milk ricotta, powdered and granulated sugar, a hint of citrus zest, vanilla extract, and a crunchy pie crust, garnished with chocolate chips or pistachios.
There’s something undeniably charming about Mini Cannoli Cups that takes me back to my first baking adventure. It was a rainy afternoon, the kind that makes you want to curl up with a good book and a sweet treat. I stumbled upon this recipe and decided to give it a whirl, intrigued by its simplicity and the promise of a delectable outcome. The process was almost therapeutic, from the delicate mixing of the ricotta filling to the playful sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon on the pie crusts. I still remember the sweet aroma filling the kitchen, and the joy on my family’s faces as they took their first bites. Since then, these Mini Cannoli Cups have been my go-to for gatherings, always sparking conversations and leaving a trail of happy smiles.
Why You’ll Love Mini Cannoli Cups
- Effortless Elegance: The ease of preparation paired with the sophisticated presentation makes these Mini Cannoli Cups a perfect choice for any occasion.
- Customizable: The recipe allows for personal touches, be it through the choice of citrus zest or the garnish, making each batch uniquely yours.
- Perfect Portion Size: The mini format is ideal for parties, ensuring everyone gets a taste without overindulgence.
- Balance of Flavors: The creamy richness of the ricotta filling is beautifully contrasted by the crispiness of the sugared pie crust, creating a harmonious blend of textures and tastes.
Each ingredient in the Mini Cannoli Cups plays a pivotal role in creating a harmonious balance of flavors and textures. Here’s a closer look:
- Whole-Milk Ricotta Cheese: Provides a creamy, rich base for the filling. It’s essential to use whole-milk ricotta for that indulgent texture.
- Powdered & Granulated Sugar: The combination of these sugars gives the right amount of sweetness while contributing to a smooth filling.
- Citrus Zest: A hint of orange or lemon zest adds a refreshing, aromatic twist that elevates the filling.
- Vanilla Extract: A touch of vanilla brings a warm, comforting flavor, tying the filling together beautifully.
- Pie Crusts: The use of refrigerated pie crusts makes this recipe convenient while ensuring a flaky, buttery base.
- Turbinado Sugar & Cinnamon: These add a delightful crunch and a hint of spice to the crust, enhancing its flavor profile.
- Chocolate Chips or Pistachios: These optional garnishes add a textural contrast and visual appeal, making each cup a miniature work of art.
How To Make Mini Cannoli Cups:
Let’s break down the Mini Cannoli Cups recipe into manageable, easy-to-follow steps, ensuring your baking experience is as delightful as the end result.
- Preparation: Begin by preheating your oven and setting up your workspace. This initial step sets the stage for a smooth baking process.
- Crust Crafting: The art of transforming pie crusts with sugar and cinnamon is both simple and satisfying. Rolling the dough and cutting it into rounds is a playful and crucial step, as it forms the base of your cups.
- Baking the Crusts: This is where the magic happens. Watching the crusts turn golden brown is a testament to your culinary skills, and letting them cool is essential for the perfect texture.
- Filling Creation: The process of mixing the ricotta and other ingredients is where flavors blend. It’s a moment of anticipation, as you’re literally whipping up the heart of the recipe.
- Assembly: Filling the cups is the final, rewarding step. It’s where you see your efforts come to fruition, culminating in a beautiful and tasty creation.
Storing these Mini Cannoli Cups can be a bit tricky, as you want to maintain the crispness of the crust and the freshness of the filling. The best approach is to store the unfilled crusts and the filling separately. The crusts can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days. The ricotta filling, being dairy-based, should be refrigerated and used within a few days. Assemble the cups just before serving to ensure the perfect blend of crunchy and creamy textures.
Variations and Substitutions:
The beauty of the Mini Cannoli Cups lies in their versatility. Here are some creative twists and substitutes to keep the recipe exciting and adaptable:
- Filling Flavors: Experiment with different extracts like almond or maple for a unique twist on the classic ricotta filling.
- Crust Alternatives: For a gluten-free option, use a gluten-free pie crust or even make a nut-based crust for a grain-free version.
- Sweeteners: Swap out granulated sugar for honey or maple syrup in the filling for a natural sweetness variation.
- Garnishes Galore: Instead of chocolate chips or pistachios, consider using candied orange peels, crushed cookies, or even a drizzle of caramel for a playful garnish.
Mini Cannoli Cups
For the Filling:
- 1 container 15 ounces of whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of finely grated orange or lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the Cannoli Cups:
- 1 box 2 count of refrigerated pie crusts, softened as per instructions on the package
- 3 tablespoons of turbinado sugar raw sugar
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup of miniature semisweet chocolate chips or finely chopped pistachios
- Additional powdered sugar as required
- Preheat the Oven: Initiate the process by setting the oven to 425°F (218°C).
- Prepare the Pie Crusts: On a lightly floured surface, unroll the pie crusts. Evenly sprinkle both crusts with turbinado sugar and ground cinnamon. Use a rolling pin to gently embed the sugar and cinnamon into the crust. Proceed to cut out pastry rounds using a 2½-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter. Carefully press each round into ungreased mini muffin cups. If necessary, re-roll the scraps of pie crust to cut additional rounds until you have a total of 48.
- Bake the Crusts: Place the mini muffin pans in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until the crusts turn golden brown. Upon completion of baking, allow the cannoli cups to cool completely in the pans for about 15 minutes, before transferring them to a wire rack for further cooling.
- Prepare the Filling: While the cups are cooling, prepare the filling. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the whole-milk ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, citrus zest, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer at medium speed until the mixture attains a creamy consistency. Transfer the filling to a 1-gallon zip-top resealable bag, seal it, and refrigerate until it's time to serve.
- Assemble the Cannoli Cups: Just prior to serving, remove the filling from the refrigerator. Cut off one corner of the bag and pipe approximately 1 tablespoon of filling into each cooled pastry cup. Sprinkle the cups with either mini chocolate chips or chopped pistachios and dust with additional powdered sugar.
- Serve: The Mini Cannoli Cups should be served immediately after assembly to ensure optimal taste and texture.