(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.)
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.
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.