I’ve declared that this week be Gadget Week! This week I’ll be “hatching” different recipes using my favorite kitchen gadgetry. I’m not a fan of useless gadgets. Needless gadgets, like garlic wheels. I just don’t need them, nor do I have space in my little house for them. I only buy gadgets that I know I’ll use and that render lovely food. So this week I thought I’d share with you a few of my fans. . . among them is the ebelskiver pan, the mini pie maker, and of course my espresso maker and my trusty ice cream maker. So let’s get started!!
Let me start at the beginning. I grew up in a town full of Italians. Italians who owned bakeries. Great bakeries. Bakeries that had cannoli. I heart cannoli. But, I really don’t want to go to the hassle of frying up cannoli shells (if I was a truly superior blogger, I would fry them up and I’d lie and tell you how much I loved doing it and how worth it it is to fry them. And if I was a liar I would tell you right now that the reason I don’t fry them up is because I want to be healthy. But that’s just a load, so I’ll be honest and just tell you this is the way I like to make cannoli.).
Enter. . . the Pizzelle Baker! This little machine is really neat. It’s basically a cookie maker. I bought it online and I just love it.
It’s like a waffle iron, but for cookies. So first you just plug it in and let it heat up.
The Pizzelle Baker comes with a nice little recipe book with lots of different variations of pizzelle batter. I made the Traditonal Italian Pizzelles.
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup butter, melted and cooled
- the zest of 1 orange
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. anise extract
- 1¾ cup flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar.
- Add the cooled butter, vanilla, anise, and orange zest.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together and add to the egg mixture.
- The batter should be stiff enough to be dropped by spoon.
- The batter can also be refrigerated to be used later.
The color on these is really nice but they need to be a little lighter, and you’ll see why in a moment. I will admit that it’s a bit of a trial and error, but honestly, it’s really worth it. There are some people who I know, who do everything perfect. My friend Connie Tameny is one of those people. I have been the grateful recipient of her food and even a beautiful home made, hand sewn apron, and I know if she tries this recipe, her pizzelles will be perfect. I just know it! Me on the other hand, am unapologetically a little sloppy. Ok, a lot sloppy. I think I’m in a hurry. That’s my problem. And I can honestly say that at this particular moment I was making these, I was (still am!) suffering from a groin strain (pull) and an Inguenal ligament pull and I needed to get off my feet in a hurry and slap my icepack on my strain/pull. Don’t ask. But that’s just an excuse. Moving on!
Now take two of these containers of whole milk ricotta cheese. . .
Take a freezer Ziplock bag and cut the tip off and insert a large frosting decorator tip.
Now snatch it from his hand, because you have OCD tendencies and you need to dip it in a bowl of mini chocolate chips all by yourself. As if he isn’t capable of dipping the ends into the chocolate chips. God bless my man for putting up with me, that’s all I can say!
And there you have it. . . fresh homemade cannoli. Serve this right away as they can get a little soft (remember, they aren’t fried so there’s not the oil barrier to keep them from getting soggy. It doesn’t really matter, I ate one this morning with my coffee, and it hit the spot!), but you can always make the shells ahead of time.
I really hope you’ll buy a pizzelle baker. What I haven’t shown you is all the variety of cookies you can make. Such varieties as chocolate, almond, orange rum, cappuccino, pumpkin, maple walnut and even gingerbread for the holidays. You can dip them in white or dark chocolate (nope, not milk chocolate, it’s against my religion). Maybe when I recover from my ligament and groin pull I’ll make more, but right now it’s all about what I can do reclining in a chair or my bed. Whaaaaaaaa!!!!!!
- 30 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- zest of 1 orange.
- 2 T. fresh orange juice
- 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
- Mix it all up in a bowl.
- Scoop it into a freezer Ziplock fitted with a large frosting tip.
- Pipe the filling into the shells.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Wouldn’t it be fun to make little ice cream cones using the Pizzelle maker?