Cannoli with Ricotta, Chocolate, & Candied Fruit Filling
Imagine the creamy sweet-cheese flavor of cannoli without the usual heaviness. Such was the inspiration for these bite-size cones made with crispy, light phyllo dough and a filling of ricotta cheese, whipped cream, chocolate bits, and candied fruit.
- 10 sheets thawed phyllo pastry
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¼ cup sugar mixed with ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Coarse sugar to garnish (optional)
- ½ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- ⅓ cup heavy cream, whipped
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped dark chocolate
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped candied citron or orange peel
- THE CONES: Heat the oven to 350°F. Lay one sheet of phyllo on top of a clean cloth. Brush the top of the phyllo with some of the melted butter and sprinkle with some of the cinnamon-sugar
- mixture. Lay another sheet of phyllo on top of the first and repeat. Continue this layering until you have a rectangular stack of 5 sheets of phyllo, each buttered and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
- Cut the phyllo rectangle into 3 equal strips, each about 4 ½-inches wide. Cut each strip in half crosswise to make two 4 ½-inch squares. You will now have 6 squares total. Cut each square diagonally in half to make two triangles—12 total.
- Turn each triangle into a cone by curling one of the points of the long side in to meet the tip of the middle point, then rolling up to close the cone. Place cones on an ungreased baking sheet, brush the tops lightly with butter and sprinkle with coarse sugar (substitute granulated sugar if necessary). With remaining five sheets of phyllo, repeat the whole process to make 12 more cones. Stuff each cone with a little tuft of aluminum foil to keep them open during baking. Bake cones 12 to 15 minutes or until evenly browned. Remove the foil and set aside to cool.
- THE FILLING: In a medium bowl, fold together the ricotta cheese, whipped heavy cream, and sugar until blended. Stir in the chocolate and candied fruit. Place the filling in a pastry bag or a one-quart resealable plastic bag snipped at one corner to make a ½-inch wide hole. Pipe filling into each cone. Best served within a couple of hours.
- For an easy variation of this recipe, buy ready-made appetizer-size phyllo tart shells, found in the freezer section of the grocery store. Sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar, heat until crisp, and then fill as directed above.
- The phyllo cones can be assembled and baked up to 3 days ahead if stored in an airtight container. You can fill the cones about 2 hours before serving without risking sogginess.
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