Friday, June 20, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cannoli Bites

These sweet little treats are the perfect dessert bites to serve at birthday parties and baby or bridal showers. Use the Athens Mini Fillo Shells "as is" or dip them in melted chocolate before filling for that extra-special touch. 

Chocolate Chip Cannoli Bites | Taste As You Go
Chocolate Chip Cannoli Bites

You may not know it from the embarrassing lack of dessert recipes on Taste As You Go, but I have a bit of a sweet tooth. In fact, I'm snacking on a bar of chocolate right now as I write this blog post.

(Don't judge me. There is no judging here.)

When I think about it, having so few dessert recipes here makes perfect sense. When I started writing this blog, I was living by myself in New York and it seemed a little ridiculous to bake cookies and cakes just for solo consumption. Sure, I could have shared my sweet creations with friends or coworkers, but schlepping food on the subway didn't seem like an appealing idea either.

I'm pretty sure dessert recipes only appeared on Taste As You Go after I made something for a party or after I gave in to a craving. I thought, maybe, we'd have more sweets in the house after Stephen and I got married, but we realized relatively quickly that our waistlines would suffer from regular dessert-making endeavors.

However, I found a work-around! Creating bite-size desserts with Mini Fillo Shells from Athens Foods, like these Chocolate Chip Cannoli Bites, allows the two of us to indulge in something sweet after dinner without feeling guilty about leaving two dozen cookies or a half a cake uneaten on the kitchen counter.

Are you ready to see how easily these bites come together?

Athens Mini Fillo Shells | Taste As You Go
Athens Mini Fillo Shells

You're going to want to start with two boxes of Mini Fillo Shells. If you're making these for a small group of people rather than for a party or a get-together, then go ahead and use just one box. Don't forget to halve the recipe!

(Or make the full filling recipe and snack on it while you fill the shells... I won't tell anyone.)

Athens Mini Fillo Shells | Taste As You Go
Athens Mini Fillo Shells

The Mini Fillo Shells are pre-baked, so you don't have to worry about baking them and allowing them to cool before you fill them with the sweet cannoli cream. Just take the shells out of the boxes and let them sit on your counter to thaw while you make the filling. By the time you're done combining all of the ingredients, the shells will be ready to fill.

Bowl of Mini Chocolate Chips | Taste As You Go
Bowl of Mini Chocolate Chips

Though, if you wanted to... there is something you can do to the shells before you fill them. An extra-special touch to bring the presentation of these Chocolate Chip Cannoli Bites to the next level.

Athens Mini Fillo Shells and Melted Chocolate | Taste As You Go
Athens Mini Fillo Shells and Melted Chocolate

Pour some mini chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and heat until just melted, about 20 seconds.

Athens Mini Fillo Shell Dipped in Chocolate | Taste As You Go
Athens Mini Fillo Shell Dipped in Chocolate

Once the chocolate has melted, gently dip the Mini Fillo Shells into the chocolate to coat the edges. Place the dipped shells in the refrigerator for about a minute to allow the chocolate to harden before filling.

While this extra step isn't necessary, I have to admit that the finished product looks fabulous.

Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese and Mascarpone Cheese | Taste As You Go
Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese and Mascarpone Cheese

For the filling, you want to start with mascarpone cheese and ricotta cheese. I used whole milk ricotta, but feel free to use part-skim if you'd prefer.

Confectioner's Sugar | Taste As You Go
Confectioner's Sugar

Organic Pure Vanilla Extract and Ground Cinnamon | Taste As You Go
Organic Pure Vanilla Extract and Ground Cinnamon

Then add some confectioner's sugar, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon. Mix everything together until well combined.

Mini Chocolate Chips | Taste As You Go
Mini Chocolate Chips

Next, gently fold in your mini chocolate chips and put the filling in the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes.

If you won't be serving the Chocolate Chip Cannoli Bites right away, then leave the filling in the refrigerator until just before you're ready to serve them. You don't want the filling to make the Mini Fillo Shells soggy by filling them too soon.

Chocolate Chip Cannoli Bites | Taste As You Go
Chocolate Chip Cannoli Bites

Now, I'll admit that, after filling the Chocolate Chip Cannoli Bites and taking photos of them for this blog post, I ate about half of them then and there. I didn't even sit down to savor them. I stood at the kitchen table and popped them into my mouth, one right after the other.

Chocolate Chip Cannoli Bite | Taste As You Go
Chocolate Chip Cannoli Bite

Go on... Try and tell me that you wouldn't have done the same thing if you were in my position.

Chocolate Chip Cannoli Bites
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Chill Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes | Yield: 30 dessert bites | Printable Recipe

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 boxes Mini Fillo Shells
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips, divided
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Remove Mini Fillo Shells from boxes and allow to thaw on counter while you prepare the filling. If desired, dip the edges of the shells into melted chocolate and allow to chill in the refrigerator before filling.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the mascarpone cheese, ricotta cheese, confectioner's sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon into well incorporated.
  3. Reserve a small pile of the mini chocolate chips and fold the remaining chips gently into the mascarpone and ricotta mixture.
  4. Chill the filling in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  5. Fill each Mini Fillo Shells with the mascarpone and ricotta mixture. Garnish each cup with a few mini chocolate chips. Serve immediately.
Recipe by Michelle Rittler | Taste As You Go

Taste As You Go Disclaimer: I was provided samples of Mini Fillo Shells from Athens Foods at no cost to me. I did not accept monetary compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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