Get ready to dazzle your taste buds with a holiday dessert that combines the crunch of candy canes, the richness of cheesecake, and the classic charm of cannoli. Introducing the Candy Cane Crunch Peppermint Cheesecake Cannoli – a dessert that’s as delightful to look at as it is to eat. Perfect for holiday gatherings, this dessert is not just a treat for the palate but also a feast for the eyes. Each bite offers the perfect balance of creamy cheesecake filling and the minty zest of peppermint, wrapped in a crisp cannoli shell with a hint of chocolate. Whether you’re a baking novice or a seasoned pro, this recipe is designed to guide you through each step, ensuring that your cannoli turn out just as delicious as they sound. So, let’s embark on this sweet culinary journey and create a dessert that’ll be the talk of your holiday feast!
- 16 ounces (454g) whole milk ricotta cheese
- 16 ounces (454g) full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (57ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup (114g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 12 full-size cannoli shells
- 1 cup crushed candy canes
- 12 ounces dark melting chocolate
Strain the Ricotta:
- Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set over a bowl to catch drips.
- Spoon ricotta into the cheesecloth, twist the top, and place a weight on it.
- Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight, allowing excess liquid to drain.
Prepare the Filling:
- Remove ricotta from the fridge and squeeze out any remaining liquid.
- In a food processor, blend cream cheese, strained ricotta, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
- Mix in peppermint extract, then fold in whipped cream beaten to medium-stiff peaks.
- Chill the mixture for 30 minutes.
Prepare Cannoli Shells:
- Melt chocolate as per package instructions.
- Dip each cannoli shell end into chocolate, then into chopped candy canes.
- Set on a parchment-lined tray to harden for 20 minutes.
Fill the Cannoli:
- Stir ½ cup chopped candy canes into the filling.
- Use a piping bag to fill each cannoli shell from both ends.
- Serve immediately, garnished with extra candy cane bits.
4. How to Prepare
This recipe requires precision and patience, particularly when straining the ricotta and preparing the filling. Ensure your ingredients are at the right temperature and consistency for the best results. Meticulous dipping of the cannoli shells in chocolate and candy canes will add an aesthetic appeal to your dessert. The key to perfect filling is to pipe it generously into the shells without overfilling.
5. Preparation Time
- Total Time: Approximately 4.5 hours (including chilling and setting time)
- Active Time: About 1 hour
- This recipe yields 12 cannoli, ideal for a medium-sized gathering.
Q: Can I use low-fat ricotta or cream cheese for this recipe? A: While you can use low-fat versions, the texture and richness might differ. Full-fat ingredients provide a creamier filling.
Q: How long can these cannoli be stored? A: It’s best to eat them immediately after filling to maintain the shell’s crispness. Unfilled shells can be stored for up to 2 days.
Q: Can I make the filling in advance? A: Yes, you can prepare the filling a day ahead and refrigerate it.
Q: Are there any substitutes for peppermint extract? A: If peppermint extract is unavailable, you can use mint extract, though the flavor will slightly differ.
Q: Can I freeze these cannoli? A: Freezing is not recommended as it affects the texture of the shell and filling.
The Candy Cane Crunch Peppermint Cheesecake Cannoli is a culinary masterpiece that embodies the essence of the holidays. Each component, from the creamy filling to the crunchy shell, works in harmony to create a dessert that’s not just a treat but an experience. Whether you’re making it for a special occasion or as a festive treat for your loved ones, this cannoli recipe promises to bring smiles and a touch of magic to your holiday table. Remember, the joy of cooking lies in the process as much as in the result. So, don your apron, gather your ingredients, and let the sweet adventure begin!