This week has been a little hectic and a lot stressful. Some exciting/nerve wracking things have been going on at work and I’ve started to seriously prep for Peru.
Saturday, Mom asked me if I wanted to go shopping. Little did I know that this was a deceiving way to take me to Bass Pro Shop (a chain store that sells hunting/camping/outdoors gear and supplies) to look at things for Peru. Let me say – ANXIETY CENTRAL. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother to the ends of the earth, she’s one of my favorite humans in this world. However, her worry never fails to heighten my anxiety.
We walked into Bass Pro, a store worker was summoned and we were sent to the camping section of the store for insect repellant and daypacks. We were met by another kind and eager Bass Pro employee. He and my Mother started talking about my trip and suddenly my arms were full of things. All the things. Backpack covers, passport carriers, jackets, bug sprays.
Did you know that there are TONS of different types of bug sprays? And that you shouldn’t use the sprays that contain Deet for a long stretch of days because it soaks into your skin and can be harmful to your body?
Let’s just add that worry to my already long list of anxieties, thanks…
Anyway – I decided that I would much rather shop online, so after shaking off the kind and slightly over-eager salesman, we put all the items back and left the store.
After all that anxiety and stress, what else could I do last Sunday than bake? I found this recipe on Facebook, one of those Buzzfeed Tasty videos and I had to try it.
Can you say YUM? In addition to the recipe sounding delicious, I also recognized the opportunity to bake Cannoli cupcakes on Easter Sunday and title this week’s blog “Holy Cannoli” (a saying that often graces my lips) and really just couldn’t pass it up.
Make and Bake, Baby
(Yes, I recognize that isn’t the correct saying, but you don’t really shake anything with this recipe.)
You know how with things like Pinterest and Facebook how-to videos, the examples seem so flawless and easy? And then when you try it, it’s the ultimate fail? That is NOT the case with these cupcakes.
These puppies were just as simple as the video made them out to be and you really didn’t need that many ingredients. I should note, however, that some of the ingredients were a little pricey… Just an FYI for the budget conscious.
For the cupcake part, all you need is a regular box of yellow cupcake mix. You make the cupcakes exactly according to the specifications on the box. My box said to bake the cupcakes about 20 minutes. I let them sit in the oven a tiny bit longer so that they were thoroughly cooked. I didn’t want the cannoli cream to make the cupcakes soggy if they weren’t fully cooked.
The cannoli cream was actually incredibly easy to make but was also the expensive part. The cream called for 8oz mascarpone, 15 oz ricotta cheese, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 cup powdered sugar, and a cup of mini chocolate chips. Be sure to take your mascarpone out early so that it can warm to room temperature. I forgot about it, but luckily it was a gorgeous day out so I set the tub out on the front porch to warm up while I finished up with the cupcakes. You pretty much dump everything but the chips into a mixing bowl and mix them together until combined and creamy. Afterward, fold the chocolate chips in with a spatula. The mixer would break up the chips, which you don’t want. You want the chocolate to retain its cute miniature chip shape.
Fill ‘er up!
Once the cupcakes have cooled, cut a small circle in them – be sure not to cut too deep! You’re only trying to push down the circular center of the cupcake, not damage the structural integrity of the bottom of the cupcake. Put the cannoli cream in a pastry bag (I didn’t have one so I used a large Ziploc bag and cut off one of the corners and it worked just perfectly) and fill the holes and then swirl the cream on top of the cupcakes in a small mound, a little like the fancy ice cream servers do with soft serve but not as tall. Once all the cupcakes are filled, pop those puppies in the freezer for about an hour so that they firm up.
(I used this hour to work out because I’m crazy into fitness and wanted to eat as many cupcakes as possible later.)
Dip ’em, Dip ’em real good
An hour later, I removed my cupcakes from the freezer and they were ready for the last step. The chocolate dipped shell. Melt 2 cups of dark chocolate with 3 tbs of coconut oil. I did this in the microwave, melting a little and stirring and then melting some more until it was a smooth bowl of chocolaty goodness. Dip the cupcakes in the chocolate cannoli cream first and watch the chocolate harden before your eyes. Once the chocolate has a nice matte look to it, it is hardened and ready for consumption.
I was sure to keep my cupcakes in the fridge until they were ready to be consumed. While the thought of cold cupcakes was a little weird for me, I didn’t want cream sitting out on the counters. Turns out the cupcakes were delicious, even cold.
For me, this recipe made only 20 cupcakes, even though it said it would make about 24. Either way, all 20 of them were devoured by my family and coworkers so it all worked out!
This week I want to challenge you to try something new, something you’ve seen online or in a book. I don’t care if it ends up being a fail. So many people have Pinterest fails. (Trust me, this is one of my first online video successes!) I would love to hear about it, no matter how it turns out. Good Luck!
PS – You can find the full recipe here on Buzzfeed!