Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cannoli Tarts! [The Cookbook...sort of]

[This post is a little belated. I started it a while back after my birthday, but life intervened. Here is it, a month late, but still good! You can make them for San Giuseppe Day tomorrow! Enjoy!]

Another year. Another birthday. Another treat to take in for the coworkers. After last year's casata disaster, I decided to keep things a little more on the simple side this year: I would make cannolis! Little did I know that cannolis were quite possibly the furthest things from simple I could have possibly chosen.

The plan was to whip up a batch of filling according to Bisnonna's recipes and use it fill up store-bought shells. Unfortunately, the weekend of my birthday, as I scoured the grocery stores in my area (ultimately going to 4 different stores), I learned that store bought shells aren't as readily available as I thought they were for some reason. I could have sworn that grocery stores, at least where I grew up, carried boxed cannoli shells, but around these parts, they are definitely less accessible.

So there I was, shell-less with all the filling ingredients and out of treat ideas.For some reason I couldn't get the idea of cannolis out of my mind. Making my own shells was out because my madre has Bisnonna's shell molds. I was stumped. And then I decided to search the internet to see if there was some sort of cannoli shell mold DIY out there (pinterest has DIYs for everything after all) and I found my inspiration: Cannoli Bites! When I saw this recipe, hope rushed back to me. I could adapt Bisnonna's cannoli recipe to suit this new form of shell mold and save the day!

Bisnonna's Cannoli

Bisnonna writes: 1 2/4 c. flour, 1/2 c. crisco, 3T sugar 1 egg, 3oz sherry wine or 6 T
Filling: 2# ricotta, about 1 c powder sugar or more or less, 4 almond chocolate bars cut up, about 12 cherries cut up, 1/2 c. nuts, 1/2 container of Cool Whip. Mix together and put in shells.

Amy's version: I mix up the shell dough with her exact ingredients, except I used 3 oz of red wine and vegetable shortening instead of crisco. The instructions for making the shells are at the Cooking Classy. As for the filling; again, I follow Bisnonna to the letter except instead of Cool Whip, I just used regular whip cream. I find the specific name brand usage in some of Bisnonna's recipe cards very interesting. Surely she didn't always have these brands. Crisco may been around her whole life, but Cool Whip wasn't around until 1966. I'm sure that her recipe was likely adapted from some older recipe after much trial and error; and just like that, the life cycle of the recipe continues.