Our good buddy Aaron makes a huge batch of pizzelles, traditional Italian Christmas cookies, every year. We look forward to his cookies as a favorite holiday tradition. Last year, after he had finished making the cookies, we borrowed his pizzelle iron, a Brame family heirloom, along with his aunt's handwritten recipe for pizzelles. We had every intention of getting right on it. We had that thing for nearly a year before we struck out on our own and made some pizzelles, but we're glad we finally did! Now we are considering buying a pizzelle iron of our very own.
These make great cookies on their own, but as usual, we like to carry things way too far in the kitchen. So, we stuffed these delicious cookies cannoli-style with two sweetened Italian cheeses. Serve them with hot tea or espresso and watch the The Snowman with some people you like.
Clementine Pizzelle Cannoli
2 eggs (beaten)
2/3 cup cane sugar
2/3 cup soy or olive oil margarine (melted)
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2/3 tablespoon anise powder
2/3 tablespoon vanilla
zest of 1 clementine
Clementine Cannoli Filling (recipe follows)
Chocolate shavings, supremed clementines, and powdered sugar (optional, to garnish)
Preheat the pizzelle iron. Mix the eggs, sugar, margarine, flour, anise, vanilla, and zest together in a large bowl. (The result sould look like a loose cookie dough.) Drop dough by the tablespoon into pizzelle iron and close, wait 30-45 seconds, and retrieve the pizzelle using kitchen tongs. While the cookie is still hot, curl it into a tube shape and place it seam-side-down to keep it from unfurling.
Remove the filling bag from the fridge and snip off one of the corners using kitchen shears. Using it like a pastry bag, fill each cannoli-shaped pizzelle from both ends. Garnish and serve. Once filled, the shells will stay crispy for a few hours. Overnight, the shells will soften just a bit which is still delicious. (Makes 15-18 cannoli.)
Clementine Cannoli Filling
1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta (put into a mesh strainer over a bowl and allowed to drain overnight)
1 8-ounce container mascarpone
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of 2 medium clementines
1/2 cup almond flour (toasted in the microwave for 1 minute)
In the work bowl of your food processor, blend the ricotta, mascarpone, sugar, salt, vanilla, zest, and almond flour until smooth. Place mixture into a gallon-size food storage bag and place in the fridge to chill.
These look simply mouth watering, I don't think there's much more to say.
Love the addition of clementines to the filling-- I often find cannoli fillings a bit heavy and sweet, so the citrus seems a wonderful way to cut through that. Great recipe, so festive! I can see these being the centerpiece of a Christmas dessert table. Gorgeous.
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