The filling for this cookie comes by crossing a Sardinian Pardula Easter cookie with a filled Sicilian Cannoli. Pardula's are a holiday traditional cookie that look like the sun and are made with very little sugar but at the end dusted with confectioners sugar. They have a flavor and cookie texture that grow on you and make it very hard to eat just one or two! Cannoli's as you all know are probably the most delectable filled dessert with it's crisp fried cookie horn filled with sweet ricotta, candied fruit and chocolate pieces. Yumm!
I make this cookie using a sweet tart dough and then fill them with ricotta taking components from the pardula's and canolli's and then coming up with this! These too are quite addictive and hard to pass with just one, and they go wonderfully with coffee..or tea! :)
9 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
3 1/2 Tbsp. Flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of saffron
3 tsp zest of 1 orange
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp. Marsala Wine
1/2 cup finely chopped dark chocolate
Press the ricotta through a strainer into a large bowl.
Sift the confectioners sugar into the ricotta.
Add the flour, baking powder, saffron, orange zest, egg yolk and Marsala.
Mix until smooth. Gently fold in chocolate pieces.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to fill cookies.
Sweet Tart Dough
recipe by Nick Malgieri
1 cup all-purpose Flour
3 Tbsp. Sugar
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/8 tsp. Salt
1/2 stick Cold Butter (unsalted)
1 large Egg
* I really like this dough recipe, it is very soft (sometimes a little messy to work with), but I always have good results. Tart and pastry dough's can get stiff by over handling. When Making cookies with my kids, this recipe seems to bounce back from all their kneading and re-rolling!
Instructions for Sweet Dough
To mix the dough by hand, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl and stir well to mix. Cut butter into 1-tablespoon pieces and add to dry ingredients. Toss once or twice to coat pieces of butter. Using your hands or a pastry blender, rub the butter into the dry ingredients by breaking it into tiny pieces, continuously pinching and squeezing it into the dry ingredients. Be careful to keep the mixture uniform by occasionally reaching down to the bottom of the bowl and mixing all the ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse-ground cornmeal and no large pieces of butter remain visible. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and pour over the flour and butter mixture. Stir with a fork, continuing to stir until the dough begins to hold together, but still appears somewhat dry. Scatter flour on the work surface and scrape the dough into it. Press and knead the dough quickly 3 or 4 times, until it is smooth.
To mix the dough in a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in work bowl fitted with metal blade. Pulse 3 times at 1-second intervals to mix. Cut butter into 1-tablespoon pieces and add to work bowl. Process, pulsing repeatedly at 1-second intervals, until the mixture is fine and powdery, resembles a coarse-ground cornmeal and no large pieces of butter remain visible, about 15 pulses in all. Add the eggs to the work bowl and pulse ten times or so, until the dough forms a ball. Scatter flour on the work surface and knead the dough into it.
Press and knead the dough quickly 3 or 4 times, until it is smooth. Press the dough into two equal disks. Sandwich the disks of dough between two pieces of plastic wrap and press it into a 6-inch disk. Refrigerate the dough until firm, or until you are ready to use it, at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350
Prepare your work surface and sprinkle with flour. Roll out the dough to the same thickness as you would for a pie or tart base. Using a small disc around the size of a half dollar, cut out as many rounds as you can. I use a shape cutter from my finger sandwich set. Keep enough flour on your surface so the dough almost slides around and makes it easy to transfer after filled and sealed. Count out your circles. When it comes time to filling them, you want to make sure you reserve half of them to use as cookie tops.
For filling the cookies I use a pastry bag without a tip. Moisten the outside of the pastry circles with an egg wash. Fill the circles with ricotta filling. Remember to reserve pastry circles for the tops. Place another pastry circle on the top of the fillings. Press to seal all cookies. For an added decorative touch crimp around the edges the a fork.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for around 20 - 25 minutes until light golden. Remove cookies from sheets onto wire racks. When cookies are completely cool, dust with confectioners sugar.