these little treats are so cute and so little and so fun and so good and omigosh i just couldn’t wait any longer to tell you about them.
i mean, look at them!
so cute! aahhh!
anyway, i told you once before that i want to learn how to make cannoli. well, i haven’t quite gotten up the nerve yet. but instead, i came up with these amazingly adorable little cannoli-inspired cookie cups, and i might actually be even happier with these than i would have been with the real thing.
they started with mini sugar cookie cups, which are just the cutest, easiest things ever. they were basically made of a regular sugar cookie dough, and i added just a touch of cinnamon, since that’s how cannoli shells are usually flavored. i pressed down on their centers just as they came out of the oven to hollow them out, and wound up with these perfect tiny little cup-shaped cookies that are soft and chewy, with just a tiny bit of that fresh-from-the-oven crunch at the edges.
then i filled those adorable little cups with a classic cannoli filling, made of ricotta cheese and powdered sugar, flavored with just a touch of lemon zest and vanilla. the filling was rich, creamy, light, and fluffy all at the same time, with just the right amount of sweetness and flavor. with mini chocolate chips mixed into it, it really was exactly what you’d find inside a classic cannoli.
then, to add just a bit of extra pizzazz and bring everything together, i drizzled a bunch of melted chocolate over the top. the result was a perfect little dessert bite that was completely reminiscent of cannoli, but in a way cuter, much easier to make, super fun little package.
oh, and i know it seems like there were a lot of steps in there, but honestly, these came together–start to finish, including cooling and clean up time–in under an hour. so really, you’ve got no excuse not to try them out. just do it. i promise, you won’t regret it.
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- zest of ½ a lemon
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
- 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a mini muffin pan with nonstick spray.
- in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until it is light and fluffy. add the egg and vanilla and keep beating until everything is smooth and combined.
- with the mixer on low speed, add the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. keep beating until everything is combined.
- use your hands to roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough and drop them into the mini muffin cups. bake them in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until they are puffed and set in the center.
- take them out of the oven and immediately press down on the center of each cup using the back of a measuring spoon or the like, so that you now have cookie cups with hollowed-out centers. let the cookie cups cool completely in the pan.
- in a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese and powdered sugar.
- in a separate bowl, whisk the heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks. gently fold the now whipped cream into the ricotta-sugar mixture. add the lemon zest, vanilla, and mini chocolate chips, and stir everything together.
- put the filling in the fridge until you are ready to put everything together.
- once the cookie cups are completely cool, transfer the cannoli filling into a piping bag without a tip. pipe a dollop of filling into each cookie cup.
- in a small bowl, microwave the chocolate and oil in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until it is melted and smooth. use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the filled cookie cups.
- put the cups in the fridge to chill until the chocolate sets. keep them in the fridge until you are ready to serve.