Thursday, September 26, 2013

Gluten Free Cannoli Sandwich

I love my Italian people, but they can be old fashioned and stubborn!  For instance, if you tell them you're a vegetarian, they'll probably offer you chicken.  And if you tell them you're gluten free, they'll most likely say, "it's all in your head-ah, don't-ah be ridiculous!".  Visiting my favorite Italian deli is something I look forward to every weekend, but they sure do make shopping for gluten free products frustrating.  The only thing they've given us is pasta.  No cookies, no bread, no pizza, no pastries.  I can't just live off of pasta!  Which has resulted in coming up with my own cannoli "shell".  Because gluten free goods tend to be dryer and more fragile, trying to roll this cookie into a cannoli shell was impossible, so a make it work moment turned this treat into a sandwich instead!  :)

There are two types of cannoli filling - super sweet vs. more savory.  I personally don't care for the super sweet kind but you'll find this type everywhere!  Even in Italy we hunted and hunted for the savory ones and came up empty handed.  Mind you this was before any of us had iphones, so I'm sure we'd be able to track the ones we prefer more easily now.  Maybe it's a southern Italian thing, but I was raised on the enjoyment of still being able to taste the natural creamy flavor of the ricotta cheese filling instead of something that just taste like a gob of frosting.  The shell is sweet enough to counter balance the filling.  And to separate this cannoli from being more of an appetizer, is the sweet tang of orange zest and crunchy mini semi sweet chocolate chips!  Throw a handful of some nutty chopped pistachios and you've got yourself an authentic Italian dessert that's easy on the belly.

What you'll need: filling 10 mins

2 32 oz. tubs low fat ricotta cheese
1 - 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar (according to taste)
1 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup pistachios (roughly chopped)
zest from one orange

In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients with a large spoon.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge while you make the cookies. 

What you'll need: cookies (about 5 dozen, about 30 sandwiches) 1 1/2 hours

1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cubes butter (3/4 cup)
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice 
4 tsp baking powder
4 cups sifted GF all purpose flour (add more if needed) I use Trader Joe's GF mix

Note: This is a big recipe so you can easily half this!  In a large bowl cream the sugar and butter together until evenly incorporated.  Mix in the eggs one at a time.  Add in the vanilla extract, lemon juice and mix.  Sift in the baking powder and flour together gradually.  But don't over mix.  You don't want tough dough.  The end product should feel slightly sticky but not to the point where it's not coming off of your hands.  So add more flour if needed.

Roll the dough into 1 in. balls, cover with plastic wrap so they don't dry out and set aside.  I used an electric pizzelle press instead of my grandma's vintage iron this time.  It's faster and makes two at a time!  Plug in the press, let heat up and begin making the cookies!  Spray the press with vegetable oil each time to prevent any sticking.  Place in the balls and close the press.  Let cook for about 45 seconds or until very lightly golden brown.  The first couple of cookies are testers so you can try to get the right timing for the rest of the batch.  Open the press and remove delicately with a fork.  Let the cookie cool completely on a flat plate.  Continue until all the dough is gone.

These can be delicate so layer in the chilled filling carefully.  And if they break, who cares!  It still tastes delicious and who says a dessert can't be rustic.  :)  Serve immediately.

I'm back on twitter! @BOMadalene

Follow me on Facebook.

No comments:

Post a Comment