Today’s Vanilla Bean Cannoli Cookies are amazing. All the flavors of classic cannoli but easier to eat. And each bite bursts with vanilla thanks to Nielsen-Massey’s remarkable products.
When I married an Italian, I knew there would be culinary differences in our comfort foods, but I didn’t know how extensive they would be. From our choices of main courses to desserts we have huge contrasts.
With my Irish heritage, I grew up loving potatoes as a side dish while The Artist had pasta. For The Artist, pasta was a starter course in a meal, for me pasta meant spaghetti, always a main course. Growing up I didn’t even know there were any shapes other than spaghetti and macaroni.
The same applies to desserts. I grew up baking cakes and pies for my family while The Artist ate Italian cookies, semifreddo, neapolitan ice cream, and of course cannoli. He will always choose cookies if they are on the menu. So, today’s vanilla bean cannoli cookies were the perfect choice to make his day!
These cookies are delicate in texture and packed with vanilla flavor. You get a beautiful combination of crunchy cookies with creamy filling, and if you add the chocolate chips (be sure they are minis) you get a bit of chocolate in every bite.
I decided to make delicate vanilla cookies as a lovely textural component with the creamy filling. I found a fantastic recipe from Sue of The View from Great Island, made a couple of small modifications to make them gluten-free, and paired them with a cannoli filling from a Nielsen-Massey recipe. Perfection!
I hope you all love these easy-to-make and absolutely delicious Vanilla Bean Cannoli Cookies!
Have a fabulous week and Happy Chocolate Monday!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!
Key Ingredients for Vanilla Bean Cannoli Cookies:
- Gluten-free flour blend, salt, baking powder, butter, sugar
- Vanilla, eggs, ricotta, mini semisweet chocolate chips
Ricotta is a very soft cheese which gets softer as you stir it. Prepare to refrigerate it for a little while before using to fill the cookies. It is light and fluffy and totally delicious!
How to make Vanilla Bean Cannoli Cookies:
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then mix in the vanilla and eggs; add the dry ingredients, beating until smooth and creamy
- Refrigerate dough to firm up slightly, about 15 minutes
- Scoop balls of dough and place 2-inches apart on parchment-lined (or use Silpats) baking sheets; for best results bake one sheet at a time
- Refrigerate dough between loading baking sheets; bake 9 to 10 minutes until edges of cookies are golden brown and cool completely
- Stir together the ricotta, sugar, and vanilla and fold in chocolate chips if using; refrigerate 15 minutes or until ready to use
- Sandwich two cookies together using 1 to 2 tsp of the filling for each cookie, pressing together gently; serve immediately
Baking one pan of cookies at a time will help you get the most consistently baked cookies – especially helpful when you have delicate dough like this. Your cookies will be more evenly browned and you can set the pan aside as you put the second pan in the oven. When they are baking it will be time to transfer the first set of cookies to the cooling racks and reload the baking sheet for the next round.
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- Kitchen scale
- Baking sheet pans
- Parchment paper or Silpats
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Spring-loaded scoop
- Wire cooling rack
You can adjust any recipe to gluten-free by using 120 grams per cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend. If you are using another brand of gluten-free flour, whisk the mix, spoon it lightly into a measuring cup until mounded, level off the top with a straight edge, and weigh the flour left in the cup. Use that weight as your standard per cup of that specific flour. Commercial blends such as Pamela’s, Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1, or King Arthur Measure for Measure are all good choices.
- 1-1/2 cups (180g) gluten-free flour blend or all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp xanthan gum (only if using gluten-free flour that doesn't already contain it)
- 1/2 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks; 170g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
Vanilla Bean Cannoli Filling
- 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
- Prepare the Cookies: Heat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer or using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and eggs. When they are incorporated, stir in the dry ingredients, beating until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until the dough firms up slightly, about 15 minutes.
- Use a small spring-loaded scoop (about 1-1/4 inch diameter) to portion the dough and place each one
about 2 inches apart on each baking sheet. Bake one tray at a time for the best results. Refrigerate the dough between reloading baking sheets.
- Bake 9 to 10 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Leave on the baking sheet a couple of minutes to firm up, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
- Make the Filling: Mix together the ricotta, sugar and vanilla until smooth. If desired, fold in mini chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes, or until ready to use. If very cold, let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes before filling and sandwiching the cookies.
- Assembly: Place 1 to 2 tsp of cannoli filling onto a cooled cookie. Top with a second cookie, pressing very gently to spread the filling to the edges. Do not assemble in advance or the cookies will get soggy. Fill and serve immediately.
- Recipe found at www.theheritagecook.com
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 84Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 86mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g
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