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
Be sure to check out the Cook with Almonds website too, and follow along on Facebook and Twitter. Good luck!
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):
- 1 1/4 cups (178.75 g) sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup (31.25 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- zest of an orange
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (55 g) light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/4 cup (59.15 ml) heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons (59.15 g) unsalted butter
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.
So has anyone besides the author actually made these? Cuz I read through the comments and everyone is writing about how they LOOK fantastic and the flavors SOUND great , and there’s no denying that they do. I made these because they LOOKED fantastic and SOUNDED great, and both the cream and the cookie were really good. But it is important to know that the shells do not form like it looks in the picture. I followed the recipe perfectly and I’m a really good cook. But the shells either completely crumbled upon trying to form them around a turkey baster, or they collapsed into themselves and fell apart. We’ve been eating pieces of crumbled almond cookies cuz I didnt want to throw them out and waste all those good ingredients. I ran out and bought cannoli shells at the bakery early Thanksgiving morning so I could save the day. Cream was delicious. Shells were delicious. Just could not put the two together.
When you say “sliced almonds” do you mean those thin ones? Cuz I bought slivered almonds to make this recipe. Can I use slivered almonds?
They get ground in a food processor, so it doesn’t really matter.
So I made these last night for thanksgiving dessert today. I’m a good cook and so I don’t typically worry about trying a new recipe on a new group. And I don’t often use recipes but for desserts I do follow and I’m always looking for something unique. Well the cream is delicious but the shells did not form at all. First batch were full of holes when they spread out, and YES, they REALLY spread! I could not get them around the blaster cuz when I tried to form them they broke in pieces. Crumbles. Next batch I cooked a little less time so they would be softer. Tried forming them after they cooled slightly. No go. They folded in half and collapsed. Without going into detail about all the different ways I tried to form these things into cannoli shells, it just didn’t work. Now I’m trying to figure out what to do with them. They taste delicious but m I trying to find a way to put them together. I’ve resorted to cupcake liners with crumbled candied almond shells on the bottom and pumpkin cream on top. Ant other ideas? Thankfully, I bought cannoli shells at the bakery, to save the day, just in case.
Hey, I’m really sorry you had so much trouble. To answer your questions, yes, the almond florentines do bake up quite delicate & lacey. You can probably see from the photos that there are a lot of holes. Also, 3 minutes is definitely the sweet spot for forming. You’ll see in step 8 of the recipe where is says to remove them from the oven & allow them to cool for 3 minutes before forming them around the turkey baster. Any less that that & they are too soft, any more & they become too brittle. If they collapsed I think it may have been becaus the turkey baster was taken out before they had cooled enough & hardened. Florentines are kind of a tricky confection, but if you follow the recipe closely you should have good success!
Hi thanks for your reply. The first batch was too brittle from the get go. The second batch timed for 3 min cooling time and too soft too form. Still too soft after several minutes. Still too soft now. I followed the directions closely but I just didn’t have success with these. I cook a lot. I’m pretty good at it. I often don’t need recipes but I followed yours cuz it was something I never made before and wanted it to come out perfect for a unique thanksgiving dessert. It’s not a big deal, I ran out and got store bought cannoli shells so the dessert was saved. But the store bought were not as tasty as your recipe. I broke up the hard and soft brittle and put them in cupcake liners and will put the pumpkin cream on top. Also used some of them as the bottom in a creme brûlée ramican and will put some of the pumpkin filling on top. Just don’t know how long they last and I have a lot of cream left over. It’s quite a bit of relatively expensive ingredients. Does it freeze? Cuz it’s only me and the hubby and we don’t have any dinner partys planned at this point. Any other ideas of what to do with the brittle and left over pumpkin cream? Thanks.
Really sorry to hear that Donna. It sounds like if the batches were that much different then something is either up with the way the ingredients were measured, or your oven is really inconsistent. Recipes don’t really have that vast a difference in terms of results if they’re prepared and cooked the same way. As for your question about freezing, you can definitely freeze the cream filling. But once the shells are filled (or topped, in your case) they start to become soggy so I would not recommend doing that.
These are GORGEOUS!! Love cannolis! Pinned!
Thank you so much Jen! And thanks for pinning too 😀 😀 😀
Oh my, these look incredible! I wish I knew about Big Traveling Potluck- always looking for one kinda close to me -I’ll keep it in mind for next year. Hope you had a great time!
I did! Sherri I didn’t realize you were close! It’s a fun conference, low key and on the smaller side. Definitely follow them for updates because it sells out in a heartbeat! Hope to see you there next year, and thank you for the sweet compliment!
How brilliant of you to make the florentines into cannolis! Someone needs to give you a cookbook deal!
This is such a unique pumpkin dessert- I love it! Pinning these to make this fall.
Aw thank you so much for the pin, Sarah! I hope you enjoy 😉
Uhm… I’m not a regular cannoli fan, but these look absolutely freaking incredible! Like, I wish I could dive head first into the screen and take a bit. Yea, that good. Love this creative recipe Allie!
Thank you so much Chris! If I can convert a cannoli hater to a cannoli lover, then I guess my job’s done 😉
I have never made a cannoli but you definitely make me want to try. These are so stunning girl!
Thanks Jocelyn! I used to make tons back in my pastry chef days but the shells were always pre-made. I was so happy to find an easy way to make them from scratch!
Holy cow, these are absolutely gorgeous!!! I have got to get my hands on that cookbook 🙂 Can’t wait to see little glimpses into the weekend blog party 🙂
Yay! So glad you like, Amy! Ps your pizza waffles blew my mind! (having trouble commenting again:() But seriously they looked amazing! Such a gun idea too, I really want to try it for my kids!
I am always amazed at your creativity and talent. These cannolis are so pretty and elegant. You’ve been one busy girl lately. One day I hope to join in on all the conference fun. It would be so exciting to meet you and so many other talented bloggers who’s blogs I creepily stalk, lol. Have a fantastic trip!
I would love that Jen! I know conferences and travel can be so expensive, but I always feel like the return on investment is so worthwhile. Thank you so much for the sweet comment! I’m so glad you enjoyed the cannoli 😉
They’re gorgeous! I’ve yet to make cannoli but I’d love to give it a whirl.
The new design look fantastic!
Hope your week is off to a great start!
Thanks Melanie! So far so good. Take care, girl! xo