Cannoli Cones

My cousin asked me to make a dessert for her second baby shower. Initially, I planned on making Ooey Gooey Lemon Bars, but the oven in my new apartment isn’t working (you can imagine the toll this has taken on my cookie making: I’ve been eating graham crackers with peanut butter as a midnight snack instead of moist, decadent, pillowy cookies fresh from my kitchen OMGIWANTCOOKIES), so I had to scratch that idea and think of something else that wouldn’t require baking.

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I really like the idea of marrying two desserts in one delicious package, so I started thinking of ways to do something a little different with cannoli cream; I went to brunch in Long Island a week ago and passed up a cannoli cream waffle, which I’ve been (rightfully) regretting ever since. Consequently, I’ve had cannoli on the brain.

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I realized it would be a cute and easy, no-bake idea to insert homemade cannoli cream into sugar cones from the grocery store. I could decorate the cones with some sprinkles to jazz them up and make them baby shower appropriate. The sprinkle actually wound up being mermaid themed, so the ice cream cone concept was a good fit with the beachy atmosphere that my aunt created with her decorations and menu options.

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I’ve never made cannoli before, but I know what I like, so I adapted a recipe from Alex Guarnaschelli.

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INGREDIENTS:

For the Cones:

2 packages (about 24), sugar cones

1/2 cup melted semisweet chocolate chips

Sprinkles

For the Cream:

2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese, strained (I used Bel Gioioso because it doesn’t require much straining)

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup small semisweet chocolate chips (I used regular, because I had them on hand, but small is more authentic!)

Zest of 1/2 a lemon

1 tbsp of orange zest

1 tsp vanilla extract

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DIRECTIONS:

For the Cones:

Remove the cones from their packaging, and separate them. Set any broken ones aside (we’ll eat these later with any extra cannoli cream). Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl on high in 15 second increments, stirring in between each, until they’re thoroughly melted but not burned.

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^My nephew noshing on one.^

Dip the rounded part of each cone into the chocolate, then dip them in the sprinkles while still wet. I found the sprinkles adhered better when I stuck the cone directly into the sprinkles, rather than twisting it clockwise in them.

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Set the cones, chocolate-sprinkle ends up, in a few mugs, then refrigerate for about 5 minutes, or until the chocolate is no longer wet. Set aside.

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For the Cream:

In a large bowl, whisk the ricotta until smooth. Sift in the powdered sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. I made this at home on Long Island and left my sifter in the city, so I used a splatter screen. Hehe. Blend, whisking gently until just combined and there are no powdery lumps.

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In a small, chilled metal bowl, beat the heavy cream with the vanilla until relatively stiff peaks form. Do not over whip, or it will collapse. Gingerly fold the cream into the ricotta blend using a rubber spatula. Fold in the chocolate chips and fruit zests. Refrigerate for at least an hour before using.

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Assembly:

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop about 1 1/2 scoops into each cone. The cream will lie flat on top; it won’t be arched as ice cream would be. However, the better you strain your ricotta, the fluffier it will be (truth be told, I didn’t strain my ricotta at all, because I left my sieve in my apartment too! But it still tasted great and the texture was absolutely fine). Place a chocolate chip or two on top of the cream as a garnish. If you’re trying to be authentic, skip the sprinkles and simply coat the top of the cream in mini chocolate chips so that it looks more similar to a regular cannoli.

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^You can store the cones in an airtight container until use. DO NOT fill them until you are ready to serve, or the cones will become mushy!^

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Enjoy!

Leslie

Triple Chocolate Fudge Cookies

I’ve been posting a lot of recipes involving classically autumnal flavor profiles (i.e. cinnamon, pumpkin, and nutmeg), so I decided to go the chocolate route for a change. The name of these cookies might seem a bit overdone, but there’s so much chocolate involved that it somehow feels appropriate. This recipe, which comes from the scrumptious food blog Baker By Nature, popped up on my Instagram feed a few days ago, and I haven’t been able to shake the memory of seeing so much chocolate enveloped in one cookie.

And now, the dilemma: I’ve been mildly attempting to eat more healthily, and I knew that making these cookies wouldn’t help in my feeble endeavors for obvious reasons. I needed to make them, eat one or two (or three or four, let’s be honest), and then get them out of the house as soon as possible. And then I remembered: my church has a coffee hour in between services, so once in a while I bring baked goods to serve there. What a perfect opportunity to get rid of these cookies! Again, after I test them.

Each batch only makes a dozen cookies, but they’re so big that it’s not chintzy to cut them up before serving them if you don’t feel like doubling it. I would have tried making them smaller, but since it’s a new recipe I decided against meddling with the cooking time.

Original Recipe: http://bakerbynature.com/soft-batch-double-chocolate-fudge-cookies/#more-19665

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INGREDIENTS:

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar (6 tbsp total)

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup milk chocolate chips, to be mixed in to the batter

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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper, and lightly grease or spray with non-stick spray (remember, these cookies are fudgey!).

Place the semi-sweet chocolate chips and butter in a small, microwave safe bowl. Heat them in the microwave for for 15 second increments of time, mixing in between each, until butter and chocolate are completely melted and can easily be whisked smooth. Be sure you don’t overcook the chocolate, as this will cause it to thicken and be harder to fold into the batter. Set aside.

In a small-medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate medium-sized bowl whisk together the sugars, eggs, heavy cream, and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and stir to combine – be wary of over-mixing, as this will make the batter too stiff.

Fold in the melted chocolate/butter and the milk chocolate chips into the batter, stirring only until everything is combined evenly.

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Scoop 1/4 cupfuls of the batter on the prepared baking sheets (do not try rolling the batter into balls with your hands… you will have a handful of melted chocolate), place pans in the oven, reduce heat to 300 degrees, and bake for 18-20 minutes. You can tell that they’re done because they will have a slight pearlescent sheen to them, due to the egg yolks.

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Allow cookies to cool for at least on hour on the baking sheets… truth be told, I snuck one before they were finished cooling, and it was totally fine, but if you have to transport them or are afraid of breaking them, I suggest waiting the full hour.

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Enjoy!

Leslie

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

If there is one recipe I want you to make from my blog, this is it. It is hands down the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever tried. I discovered it when I first started baking a few years ago on a site called Allrecipes.com. Since then, I’ve adjusted it slightly and have made it countless times. Without fail, it’s always a success.

When I make these gigundo cookies I love eating them at various stages of the recipe. I take my first nibble once I’ve added the chocolate chips to the cookie dough. I don’t like to eat too much of the dough because that means less cookies for me (did I mention I’m legit Cookie Monster?). Next, I steal a pinch right after they come out of the oven. I’m often impatient when it comes to cookies (haha no really, I am Cookie Monster), so I try to move them to the cooling racks too soon. When this happens and a cookie breaks or crumbles, I use its imperfect appearance as an excuse to eat it right then and there. Once the remainder of the cookies have cooled, I eat at least two more. At least.

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So maybe I’m NOT the real Cookie Monster, but I’m pretty darn close. 

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INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup packed light brown sugar 

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips OR 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips and 3/4 cup white chocolate chips OR 1 cup peanut butter chips and 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips OR 1 cup milk chocolate chips and 1 cup dark chocolate chips

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DIRECTIONS:

Makes 18 large and in charge cookies

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper for an easy cleanup.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. Do not skip this step; this is part of what makes these cookies so fluffy!

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In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy (I’ve done this step using an electric beater and by hand; do whichever you prefer). Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips using a wooden spoon.

Roll cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time in your hands then place on the prepared cookie sheets (each cookie should be about the size of a golf ball… every time I make them, my mom comments on how big they are). Thus, cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

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Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. They may seem undercooked to you, but they’re probably not! Take them out as soon as the edges have firmed up a little bit and the egg yolk has created a slight iridescence on the cookies. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Use the biggest spatula you have to avoid breaking them when transferring the cookies from the baking sheets to the wire racks. Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days– if they last that long.

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