I am very happy with my life, but there are some times when I wish I were Italian.
Sometimes I daydream that I'm in the kitchen with my cute Italian grandmother and she teaches me all of the family recipes for cannoli, biscotti, pizelles, and other Italian cookies. (My grandmother was mostly Irish, which I take pride in, but she passed when I was young. There was sadly no time for lots of cookie making. I did bake A LOT with my mom, so that made up for it.)
I've told hubby repeatedly that I will be a cute grandmother, making cookies with her grandkids. His response: "Let's get through raising children first."
Duly noted, hubs.
No one in my family makes cannoli; I had to experiment and teach myself. This is part one in a two part cannoli series. I couldn't decide which recipe was healthier: baked or fried. Most people would immediately say "baked", but the baked recipes are often filled with sugar. I will be giving you both choices :-)
This cannoli recipe is for the traditional fried ones. I replaced the egg in the recipe with almond butter and I think that it compliments the cookie in amazing ways. Alex Guarnaschelli from Food Network has a great recipe that already uses white wine, so I incorporated elements of her recipe into my own.
These cannolis take AMAZING, just as good as their store-bought rivals!
***Note: One thing I didn't think about previously was cannoli forms. You know, they just don't magically make little tubes on their own? I bought mine on Amazon here. Also, I would prefer to use coconut oil for the frying because it is healthier, but it's just too darn expensive. I chose to use canola oil.
2 c. organic white flour
1 T. organic cane sugar
pinch of sea salt
1 T. + 2 tsp. coconut oil, softened
1 T. (heaping) natural almond butter
1/2 c. white wine
approximately 1 quart of canola oil, for frying
3-4 inch circle cookie cutter, or jar
For the Filling:
1/4 c. organic non-hydrogenated shortening, like Spectrum
3/4 c. vegan powdered sugar, plus more if needed
3 T. white wine
2 tsp. vanilla
In a small to medium sauce pan, heat your oil over medium-high heat. When choosing a pot, make sure that your form can fit in there fully submerged.
On a few recipes I consulted, it said to heat the oil to about 360° F. When I made these, I didn't have a thermometer, so I just winged it, because I like to live dangerously. It worked out fine.
Sift the flour, sugar, and salt into a medium-sized bowl.
With your fingers, add the chunks of coconut oil to the bowl and squish them with the flour. After, your flour should look more like a meal.
Add the wine and almond butter and continue to knead the mixture until it feels more like a dough. If the dough is not combining properly, add a tablespoon or two of water.
Cover the dough in flour and roll it out to about 1/2 inch in width. Cut circles with either your cookie cutter or jar. (Have a little cup of water handy, near your workstation.) Wrap the circles around the forms and, using a smidge of water on your finger, seal the dough so it doesn't pop off of the form while it's cooking.
Depending on how warm your oil is, cooking times vary. I encourage you to test your oil a few times. For instance, my oil was pretty hot, so my first cannoli came out burnt to a crisp. My best cooking time seemed to be 20-30 seconds, and then I pulled it out of the oil with a pair of tongs. (Even if you don't cook it quite long enough, you can always pop them in the oven afterward to get them nice and crispy.)
Cook your cannoli, dropping one by one in the oil, until you've used all of the dough. You should get at least 12-15 cannolis, depending on how large your cookie cutter is.
For the fililng, combine the icing ingredients together with a mixer. If it is too stiff, add a little wine/water; if it seems too runny, add a little more powdered sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time. Pipe it into the cannolis.
Chop up some chocolate or pistachios and decorate these puppies! Let me know how you decided to do it :-)
This post is affiliated with Vegan Mofo. Check out #VeganMoFo on social media for ideas and recipes during the month of September.