“Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” I think that’s the favorite Godfather line of every guy I know.
Apparently the actor, Richard Castellano, who said those famous words improvised the “Take the cannoli” part. Who knew?
Sweets don’t happen often in our house because, well, I have no willpower. I’ll eat whatever sweet there is excessively like a crazy person as I mention in this Pistachio Cookies and this German Cinnamon Pepper Cookies post. As a result, it’s been a while since we made anything sweet and shared with y’all. But I shouldn’t punish you because of my shortcomings. That simply isn’t fair!
I live in Central NY and cannoli’s are
big HUGE up here. They pretty much come two ways: with or without chocolate chips. I’m definitely a with chips gal! I absolutely love cannoli’s but I decided I wanted to shake things up just a hair on the Italian classic, so I decided to merge it with another classic- the Danish.
Confession 1: I didn’t make pastry dough from scratch. Frown. I just didn’t have it in me. I used puff pastry dough instead. Confession 2: it was my first time using puff pastry dough and I absolutely love it. Buuuut…. I must make you aware that if you let it sit out too long, it gets soft and difficult, nearly impossible, to work with. So I’ll put it in bold letters: Defrost the puff pastry overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter for about 40 minutes, but once defrosted, store in the refrigerator until the exact moment you want to use it. Trust me on this. I learned the frustrating way.
This recipe is reeeeaaaaaly easy to make coming together in 30 minutes! How-ev-er….Danger!! Danger!! There should be a warning label as these are HIGHLY ADDICTIVE, so please don’t be mad at me if you can’t just eat one, and please don’t blame me if you end up eating all the filling before it makes it to the pastry dough. K? This is my official warning label 😉
Now that that’s out of the way… I know the Danish is typically considered a breakfast food but I’ve never really been one for sweets in the morning, so the Cannoli Cheese Danish best suits me for dessert.
But who am I kidding? I had one for breakfast AND one for lunch and if it weren’t for my better judgment kicking in, I’d have one for dinner! Yes, I have a willpower problem. Sigh. Extra time on treadmill. Problem solved!
- 1 box (2 sheets) puff pastry dough
- 1⅓ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 8 oz. (1 block or 1 cup) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
- ¼ cup flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsps. water or milk
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- If your cream cheese isn't room temperature, pop it in the microwave (unwrapped) for 30 seconds. Place all filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix until smooth with a spatula.
- Flour a cutting board or clean surface and unroll a pastry dough sheet and cut it down the middle horizontally and vertically into 4 equal squares.
- Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon (optional) and dollop about 4 Tbsps. of cannoli filling onto each square spreading it out a little bit diagonally, corner to corner.
- Fold 2 opposite corners to the center overlapping them and pinch together firmly.
- Repeat steps with the other 3 squares, then repeat steps 3-5 with the other puff pastry sheet.
- Line 2 cookie sheets with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes, rotating the pans half way.
- Allow the pastries to cool completely (about 20 minutes) and make the icing by combining all icing ingredients together in a bowl and mixing smooth.
- Drizzle over the pastries.
Icing is optional. You could also sprinkle with powdered sugar or nothing at all.