Pumpkin Cannoli and a Giveaway
Delicate almond florentine shells are infused with orange and sea salt, and paired with a fluffy pumpkin & spice cannoli cream. You’re going to love the way the caramel-y, praline-like cookie compliments the creamy, sweet cheese filling in this fun fall dessert recipe.
Good morning! It’s Monday and I’m geared up for a great week. It’s going to be a busy one! But I got a good jump on everything over the weekend, despite the fact that the fam and I had no less than THREE little league games to attend. Phew!
In between all the schlepping, I baked up A LOT of yummy treats for you guys. Towards the end of this week, I’ll be attending a conference and I’ve got girlfriends coming in for it too, so it’s going to be a big ol’ hen party here! I just know I’m going to be too busy gabbing to give the blog a second thought, so I’m trying to work ahead a little bit.
Also, I need to bring some goodies with me to the conference, and it’s my mom’s birthday so there’s gotta be cake, and it’s also Rosh Hashana. If you celebrate Rosh Hashana (or quite frankly even if you don’t!), you’ve got to check out this cake I made last year. Man, is this one delicious cake for fall… I mean, how can it not be, with brown butter and cream cheese? And of course apples 😉
But today is all about pumpkin. And almonds! My friend Cate from Chez Catey Lou asked me if I’d like to participate in this special event she’s planned for her Aunt, who just published the cookbook Almonds: Recipes, History, Culture. The minute I saw the recipe for her almond florentines, I just knew I had to give it a twirl.
In the book, the almond florentines are baked into thin little lacy cookies and drizzled with melted chocolate (I know!), but I couldn’t resist gilding the lily just a little bit.
If you use a thin, metal spatula to lift the cookies from the baking sheet while they’re still warm, you can form them into all sorts of shapes. I used my turkey baster to wrap them into a cylinder, and then whipped up a fluffy pumpkin spice cannoli cream to pipe inside.
A) the cookies are outta this world (what’s up, orange zest and sea salt!), and B) so’s the filling. You’re going to fall in love with the little gingery bite, alongside the sweet and caramelly almond brittle-like shell.
Just a word to the wise though: the shells are made up almost entirely of sugar, nuts, and butter, so these are no-bueno for making ahead 🙁 What you can do (and what I actually did), is make the shells and keep them (empty) in an airtight container (a few days?), and make the filling too, but leave out the whipped cream. Just before serving, whip the cream, fold it into the pumpkin ricotta mixture, and then pipe away. Or… if you’re looking for something a bit more transportable, make the almond florentines a little smaller, and dip ’em into the filling. Like chips and dip!
Ok now, I promised you a giveaway and so here it is:
And here are some other great almond recipes from the book:
Soba Noodles with Spicy Almond Butter Sauce from Chez CateyLou
Bucatini with Pesto Trapanese from Culinary Couture
Almond Butter from URBAN BAKES
Bulgur Salad with Chickpeas, Pomegranate Seeds, and Almonds from Cooking and Beer
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Almonds from Chelsea’s Messy Apron
Pumpkin Cannoli from Baking a Moment
Banana Almond Smoothie from The Bitter Side of Sweet
Roasted Almonds with Lemon and Rosemary from Spoonful of Flour
Almond Crusted Pork Chops from Foodtastic Mom
Hope your week is off to a great start; I’ll talk at ya again on Wednesday!
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For the Shells (Almond Florentines):
For the Pumpkin Cannoli Cream:
- 4 ounces (113.4 g) mascarpone cheese
- 3/4 cup (90 g) powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup (183.75 g) pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup (123 g) ricotta, I used whole milk ricotta
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- a few scratches of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup (118.29 ml) heavy cream
Make the Shells (Almond Florentines):
- Toast the almonds, either in a dry pan over medium heat (stirring occasionally), or in a shallow pan in the toaster oven, for about 5 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant.
- Place the almonds in a food processor or mini-chopper, and pulse a few times, until they are coarsely chopped.
- Transfer the chopped almonds to a bowl and add the flour, salt, and orange zest. Toss to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line (3) half-sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Place the sugars, cream, and butter in a small pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugars are dissolved and the butter is melted.
- Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Remove from heat and pour the hot sugar mixture over the almond mixture. Stir to combine, and use a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop to drop the batter onto the prepared cookie sheets. (Allow at least 3 inches in between; cookies will spread during baking.)
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then lift with a thin spatula, and carefully form the cookies around the tube of a turkey baster, while still very warm and pliable.
- Slide the turkey baster out of the shells and cool completely. Fill with Pumpkin Cannoli Cream.
To Make the Pumpkin Cannoli Cream:
- Place the mascarpone and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth.
- Add the pumpkin, ricotta, and spices and mix until incorporated.
- In a smaller bowl, whip the heavy cream until it holds stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture, and pipe or spoon into cannoli shells.