Chocolate Chip Cannoli Tartlets

Once upon a time, about 4 years ago, I endeavored to make homemade cannoli.

These adorable Chocolate Chip Cannoli Tartlets are the perfect grab-and-go treat for your next bridal or baby shower!

Cannoli are one of my favorite sweet treats and I will always find room for one or two, regardless of how much pasta I have eaten beforehand.  I could not wait to have the power to make them at whim.  

These adorable Chocolate Chip Cannoli Tartlets are the perfect grab-and-go treat for your next bridal or baby shower!

I like to pride myself on being somewhat fearless in the kitchen, but that day I walked away with burnt arms that would eventually scar, a defeated heart, and two dozen or so cannoli which, while delicious, had a faint flavor of tears and anger.  "Never again," I declared.  

You see, cannoli would really be a very simple effort if not for trying to fry delicate little tubes of dough.  Dough that will do everything in its power to slip and slide off of those metal molds and stick to the bottom of your pan. 

These adorable Chocolate Chip Cannoli Tartlets are the perfect grab-and-go treat for your next bridal or baby shower!

Just thinking about it now is making me type with a small degree of rage.  My fearless friend and I tried hanging on to the molds with tongs to keep them from resting on the bottom of our dutch oven, but they had a tendency to slip, thus splashing very hot oil onto our arms and creating a deep-set hatred for cannoli shells in our hearts.  Well, at least in mine. 

These adorable Chocolate Chip Cannoli Tartlets are the perfect grab-and-go treat for your next bridal or baby shower!

Over the years, I have denied my cravings and stuck to my vow, but my love for the beautiful, Italian-grandmother-made cannoli has remained. 

These adorable Chocolate Chip Cannoli Tartlets are the perfect grab-and-go treat for your next bridal or baby shower!

Recently, the cravings resurfaced and while I had no interests in singed arms, I was curious about a cannoli alternative.  Something that could mimic the flavors and textures of those delicate Italian...cookies?  Gosh, what are they anyways? 

These adorable Chocolate Chip Cannoli Tartlets are the perfect grab-and-go treat for your next bridal or baby shower!

So, it is with great pleasure that I give you cannoli petit fours, or mini tarts, or tartlets, or yummy little things that should be served at your next bridal shower, baby shower, or any other girly affair where bystanders will appreciate their cuteness.  Oh yes, Mother's Day too. 

These adorable Chocolate Chip Cannoli Tartlets are the perfect grab-and-go treat for your next bridal or baby shower!

These tartlets begin, not surprisingly, with tart shells - our substitute for the traditional, beastly shells that I have forever put behind me. 

While these miniature cups of pastry did not leave me burned and battered, they did present a few challenges of their own, namely the age-old issue of sinking. 

These adorable Chocolate Chip Cannoli Tartlets are the perfect grab-and-go treat for your next bridal or baby shower!

 I should begin by saying that I did not go out and purchase two dozen tiny tart tins, but instead used an item all of us likely have tucked away in some neglected corner cabinet - the mini muffin pan. 

Sinking crusts are not a new problem, every pie-baker has known the pain of watching a carefully-made crust slip into an unattractive mound at the bottom of the pie pan.  It would seem, however, that drooping sides are a bit easier to combat when it comes to larger crusts because we can look to pie weights for our aid.  Tartlet crusts are a bit trickier.  The first time I made these, as evidenced by the photographs, my sides sunk.  No amount of freezing could battle the melting properties of buttery pastry.  The second go-round, however, I was lucky enough to find Deb's foolproof recipe and applied her tart principles to my miniature tarts.  The results were perfectly shaped, high-sided shells. 

These adorable Chocolate Chip Cannoli Tartlets are the perfect grab-and-go treat for your next bridal or baby shower

While I could have simply filled these shells with the cannoli filling, I felt like a little extra chocolate might be a good idea.  It usually is.

These adorable Chocolate Chip Cannoli Tartlets are the perfect grab-and-go treat for your next bridal or baby shower!

Crisp, buttery pastry, rich chocolate ganache, and the creamy, chocolate chip-studded ricotta that we all adore so much.  Everyone knows that the filling is the reason we love cannoli anyways. 

I will not try to convince you that these tartlets are better than traditional cannoli, but they are a delicious substitute. 

These adorable Chocolate Chip Cannoli Tartlets are the perfect grab-and-go treat for your next bridal or baby shower!

This time I walked away rage-free, without a burn, and my cannoli cravings satisfied.  In some ways these far out-rank the original. 

Sincerely, 

Pedantic Foodie


Chocolate Chip Cannoli Tartlets

makes 24 tartlets

for the tartlet crust

- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar 

- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

- 9 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes 

- 1 large egg, gently whisked 

- 1 egg white, whisked

In the work bowl of your food processor, combine flour, sugar, and salt; pulse to combine.  Scatter the butter over the flour mixture and pulse several times, until the butter is in roughly pea-sized pieces.  Add the egg and and pulse in 10-second increments, until a dough begins to come together.  

Turn the dough out until a lightly floured surface and knead just enough to pull the together any dry bits.  Shape into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill for two hours. 

Place the dough on a well-floured surface and roll with a rolling pin to about 1/8-inch in thickness.  Cut into twenty-four circles using a 2 1/4-inch biscuit cutter.  Gently press the dough into a miniature muffin tin, forming tiny cups.  Use the tines of a fork to dot the crusts with holes for steam.  

Cook's Note: For my particular mini muffin pan, the 2 1/4-inch cutter is the perfect size. However, I realize that these pans are not standardized, so feel free to test a couple different sizes to make sure you have a proper fit.  You are looking for just enough dough to come up the sides of the cavity and just barely reach over the edges. 

Freeze the tartlet crusts for at least thirty minutes.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

After the crusts have chilled, take a large sheet of aluminum foil that has been greased with nonstick spray on one side and press the greased side down over and into the crusts, sealing tightly.  This will help those crusts stay in their proper places.  Place the muffin tin on the center rack of your oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the crusts look almost done.  (You will have to peek under a corner of the aluminum foil to evaluate.)

Remove the aluminum foil gently, then brush each crust lightly with a bit of the whisked egg white and return to the oven for an additional 2-5 minutes; until the edges have begun to brown and the centers are fully baked.*

Cook’s Note: The brush of egg white may seem like an extra step, but this will help to “laminate” the crusts so that they will not become soggy when we fill them. 

Allow the tartlet shells to cool fully before filling. 

(Tartlet crust adapted from Smitten Kitchen.)

for the ganache

- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips 

- 1/4 cup heavy cream

In a small, glass bowl, combine chocolate and heavy cream.  Microwave at 30-second increments, stirring well after each, until the chocolate has melted and is thick and shiny.  

Using a small spoon, place about 1 teaspoon of ganache in the center of each tartlet.  Allow the ganache to cool for a few moments while you prepare the cannoli filling. 

for the cannoli filling

- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

- 1 cup whole milk ricotta 

- 6 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, sifted

- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

- 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips, plus extra for decorating 

- cocoa powder, for dusting

Using an electric mixer, beat heavy cream on high speed until soft peaks have formed. 

In a separate bowl, whisk ricotta until very smooth.  Stir in confectioner’s sugar and spices, then gently fold in the heavy cream.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  (Stirring in a bit of lemon zest would also be traditional, but I prefer to omit it.)

Transfer the filling to a piping bag and pipe about 1/2 tablespoon of filling onto the top of each tartlet.  Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and cocoa powder.  Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!!

Cook’s Note:  I would recommend serving these tartlets the same day that you make them.  However, you can make the tartlet shells and ricotta filling a day in advance and fill them just before serving.

(Cannoli filling recipe adapted from Alex Guarnaschelli.) 

COFFEE TALK

Oh you guys, we've got some serious catching up to do.  First things first, whatcha drinkin'?  I kind of hope it's a unicorn frappuccino because that's the kind of unapologetic millennials that we are, but I have to warn you because...it's super nasty. Yeah, I gave in and instantly regretted it. 

The Pedantic Foodie - The record of events of a young lady head-over-heels in love with food.

How was your Easter?  We had so much food and I'm not going to tell you how many helpings of the strawberry-pretzel-heaven dessert I ate.  Okay fine, it was three, but I'm not even a tiny bit sorry.  I also watched a bunch of tiny, chocolate-covered children roll around inside a huge ball and it was slightly agonizing because I really wanted everyone to go away so I could have a turn. Oh yeah, and then I came home and whacked my head on our freezer door and ended Easter in the ER with a minor concussion.

At first, I pretended that I wasn't totally spacing out and tried my darnedest to resist the effects of the nausea, but after forty-five minutes of waiting and no change, Mr. Pedantic scooted me out the door, ignoring my protests and cries of, "Ugh, I'm so stupid. This is so stupid. I hit my head all the time, I'm going to be fine. This isn't happening!"  Looking back, I have new respect for my husband and his ability to stay calm while I acted like a toddler who didn't want to take her medicine. 

A heck of a lot of waiting and a cat scan later, we returned home, and things were in full swing and back to normal by Tuesday.  I have to admit, I found my husband's nervousness and tender care so sweet, though I was slightly less than enchanted when same nervousness made me stay in bed Monday morning.  I really don''t like "taking it easy."  

Can we talk about warm-weather fashion? This summer, I'm keeping things really simple.  I am primarily sticking to loose sundresses, overalls, my beloved genie pants, and t-shirts, because I'm tired of having a ton of cute layers that I have to peel off after being out in the world for twenty minutes.  Also, I am ignoring my favorite wedges and I bought two pairs of comfy sandals.  My goal this year was to tailor my wardrobe to things that I can be productive in.  I want to be able to attend a meeting and then go out and garden or take a walk without changing in between activities. [Most] everything in my closet right now is comfortable enough to work in and cute enough to go out in. Summer dressing is finally clicking - it only took 22 years. 

I finally made these brownies that I have been dying to try for weeks.  They were really very good, albeit superrr rich.  I think I would like to substitute some of the baking chocolate with cocoa powder or milk chocolate, just to lighten things a bit. 

Do you follow Ivenoven on Instagram?  I am obsessed with her cakes, especially this one.  I need to start practicing my piping skills. 

Just more proof that vinegar is magic.

MirDinara released bunch of new prints this week and I think I have to have this one.  It will be hanging on my wall very soon.  

How precious is this vintage ring box?  I love all of Saint Signora’s treasures.  

Mr. Pedantic and I are trying to plan a holiday for this coming fall, so if anyone has any advice for traveling in Quebec please leave them in the comments or shoot me an email!  We would love to explore your favorite spots!  Or, maybe we should visit the best travel destination in the world instead.  Who gets to decide these things anyway? 

I feel like a batch of these banana muffins needs to happen this weekend.  I love having them for snacks and breakfasts throughout the week. 

Today marks six months of marriage for Mr. Pedantic and myself.  It’s gone so fast, and yet I hardly remember what it was like to not be married to him.  If you'd like to join me in my nostalgia, here is our wedding day

Happy, happy weekend to you!

Sincerely, 

Pedantic Foodie