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Cannoli Cream Puffs

(by Clare Paternoster Lowell)


(Okay, I realize that most Italians would pooh-pooh any cannoli recipe that didn’t involve genuine cannoli shells, but that Italian I’m not—cannoli shells are beyond my pay grade. So I started making Cannoli Cream Puffs—kind of an Italian riff on a perennial favorite—from a recipe I got in a Polly-O recipe pamphlet. I make minis since people would rather take four minis than a whole full-size one.)

Filling:


1 (32-oz.) container Polly-O ricotta cheese, drained

3/4 c. powdered sugar

1/2 t. vanilla

1/4 t. cinnamon

1/2 c. miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

optional (depending on how authentic you want to be) 1/2 c. candied fruit, finely chopped)

Combine all ingredients, and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Shells:


1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 t. sugar (optional)

1/2 t. salt

1 c. all-purpose flour

4 large eggs

optional: 1 egg beaten with 1 T. water

optional: additional powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a medium saucepan, combine butter, sugar, salt, and 1 cup water.

Bring to a boil and quickly stir in flour with a wooden spoon.

Continue to stir until mixture forms a ball.

Remove from heat and add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each one.

Continue beating until mixture is thick and shiny and breaks away from the spoon.

Place rounded tablespoons of the mixture onto parchment-lined baking sheets.

(Optional: Brush the tops with egg wash made from 1 egg beaten with 1 T. water).

Bake until puffs rise and are golden (about 30 minutes).

Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Once cooled, split and fill with cannoli mixture.

(Optional: Dust with sifted powdered sugar.)

Makes about 2 dozen.


(Read Cujones and Cannolis, the story that accompanies this recipe.)

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