This light, easy version of cannoli involves topping crisp, lacy cookies with sweetened ricotta studded with chocolate chips and Grand Marnier-soaked dried cherries.
Slideshow: More Cookie Recipes
2 1/2 tablespoons minced dried sour cherries
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cups sliced almonds (7 ounces)
1/4 cup packed all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dried sour cherries, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, finely chopped
How to Make It
Step 1 Make the cookies
Preheat the oven to 375°. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. In a small bowl, toss the minced sour cherries with the Grand Marnier and let stand for 10 minutes.
Step 2 Make the cookies
In a large bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine the butter with the granulated sugar, corn syrup, orange and lemon zests and salt. Cook over moderate heat, whisking, until the butter melts and the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Fold in the almonds and macerated cherries, then fold in the flour.
Step 3 Make the cookies
Spoon nine 2-teaspoon-size mounds onto each baking sheet and spread them into 1/2-inch rounds. Bake the florentines or 13 to 15 minutes, until deep golden brown. Let cool completely on the sheets.
Step 4 Meanwhile, make the filling
In a small bowl, toss the cherries with the Grand Marnier; let stand for 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, blend the ricotta with the mascarpone, cream, vanilla bean paste, salt and the 3 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar. Fold in the chocolate chips and soaked cherries.
Step 5 Meanwhile, make the filling
For each stack, set a cookie on a plate and top with 2 tablespoons of the ricotta filling. Top with another cookie, another 2 tablespoons of filling and a final cookie. Repeat with the remaining cookies and filling to make 5 more stacks. Dust the stacks with confectioners’ sugar and serve.
The crispy florentine cookies can be stored in an airtight container overnight.
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