Another busy weekend gone by and to prepare for it I needed a quick, easy and delicious dessert to bring to a family dinner and have during Super Bowl. I had two pounds of ricotta cheese in the refrigerator and puff pastry in the freezer, since I wouldn’t have the time to shop I decided that I would combine cannoli cream filling with puff pastry cups. The cannoli cream needs to be made ahead of time so that it has the right consistency and isn’t too soft. The cannoli cream recipe is one I’ve used before and I’ve had rave reviews every time.
I began by finding a recipe to turn the puff pastry dough into pastry cups on the puff pastry website. I only needed the puff pastry cup portion of the recipe as shown below. Once the puff pastry is baked and cooled it can be stored unfilled in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.
The cannoli cream had to be started a couple of days ahead of time because the ricotta cheese needs to be drained of extra liquid. In addition, I only use the Polly-O brand for cannoli filling or ricotta cheesecake. I have found that the Polly-O brand does not become grainy when processed in the food processor.
Yield: 24 filled cups Cook Time: 10 – 15 minutes
Puff Pastry Cups:
1 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (2 sheets), thawed according to package directions
1 egg, beaten
Cannoli Cream Filling:
2 lb container Polly-O ricotta cheese, drained overnight in a 2-ply cheesecloth
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 c powdered sugar, sifted
2/3 c mini chocolate chips; plus some additional for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 12 (2 1/2-inch) muffin-pan cups with the cooking spray or line them with paper cupcake liners.
- Unfold the first pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 12 x 9-inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle into 12 (3-inch) squares.
- Press the pastry squares into the muffin-pan cups. Brush only the sides of the pastry cups with the egg. Prick the bottom of the pastry cups with a fork.
- Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until the pastry cups are golden brown. Begin checking the puff pastry after 10 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the pastry cups from the pan and cool completely.
- Repeat steps one through 4 for the second pastry sheet.
- For the filling, mix ricotta, vanilla and sugar together.
- Move the mixture to a food processor (I used a small Kitchen Aid chopper that was included with my stick blender) and mix until the filling is smooth and is the right consistency. Depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to mix in more than one batch.
- Fold in chips, place in a Ziploc bag and store at least overnight in the refrigerator.
- When ready to fill, make a 1/2 inch cut on one corner of the Ziploc bag and use as a pastry bag to fill the cups.
- Sprinkle some chips on top of each filled pastry cup.
Tip: How to tell if Puff Pastry is done baking? Take a sharp knife and nick off a teensy piece to test for crispness and flakiness.
Puff Pastry Cups recipe from puff pastry.
Cannoli Cream recipe from unknown source.