Mini Cannoli Cups

Photo Credit: Lexbake

If you are looking for a new pint-sized treat to adorn your holiday dessert trays, this mini cannoli cups recipe will fit the bill perfectly. Instead of the usual cannoli, which includes a tube of deep-fried pastry that is filled with a ricotta cheese filling, this cannoli recipe involves the dough being pressed into a mini muffin tin and baked instead. This is handy for those who don’t enjoy frying in hot oil or would rather have a healthier dessert that is baked rather than fried. Lex, the author of the Lexbake recipe blog, came up with these fun desserts because they loved the taste of traditional cannoli so much. The only thing is that they found preparing the shell to take too much time and that they could minimise the effort by using a store-bought dough and eliminating the frying step. If easy desserts are what you need this holiday season or any other time of year, this mini cannoli recipe will become a favourite tasty treat for your family or anyone else you serve them to.

Pastry baking can be a challenging feat since incorrectly mixing the dough can lead to a tough texture or plenty of shrinkage during baking. Luckily for you, Lex has simplified the process significantly by opting for Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust instead. This way you will just have to roll out the dough, cut with cutters and place in a mini muffin tin before baking, rather than having to mix and chill the dough as well. Using store-bought dough makes pastry and baking so much easier than if you were to make it from scratch. Of course, if you have a pie dough recipe that you love, you could opt for that in this cannoli cup recipe, and the results should end up just as good if not better. If you like making everything from scratch but want to simplify things during the holidays, you could pre-make the dough and freeze it until ready to use. That way, the process of making this mini cup recipe will be almost just as easy as if you used the store-bought version.

The classic filling for this comfort dessert involves ricotta cheese which is creamy in texture and mild in taste. The ricotta cheese provides the perfect creamy filling for this cannoli recipe without a lot of work. A generous amount of icing sugar both sweetens the cheese and thickens it giving it body. Lex also recommends straining the cheese to get rid of excess moisture which might make the filling too loose. As long as the filling recipe is thick enough, you should be able to put it in a piping bag or sandwich bag and pipe it in the cups. You could even substitute part of the ricotta cheese with mascarpone if you would like to add more body to the cheese mixture. If you prefer not to pipe the cheese filling, though, you can spoon into the cups as well, although they may not look as pretty.

Despite the simplicity of this dessert recipe, the flavour is incredibly flavourful and complex. The pastry dough is sprinkled with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar before being baking, making them slightly sweet and spicy at the same time. The sweet ricotta filling becomes studded with semi-sweet chocolate chips for extra richness. One reader mentioned serving these desserts differently to the recipe. Instead of baking the dough as cups, they turned the ricotta filling into a dip and served it with the baking pastry rounds for dipping instead. Thank you to Lex, the author of the Lexbake recipe blog, for sharing their mini cannoli cups recipe with us.

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