Hungrygems is officially one year old!
Similar to an Emmy host, I will be accepting all gifts and accolades on behalf of the website.
What do you send a website on its birthday?
Oh, easy peasy.
Think about what you would want for your birthday.
Well, I suppose that depends on whether you picture what you wanted as a kid or what you desire now.
When I was little, it was a one-stop shop at Toys R Us. Anything amazing on the bottom two shelves was added to the list (honestly, why they bother to stock the higher shelves out of eye line of little munchkins still befuddles me).
And by added to the list, I mean after my first item I always requested as an innocent little darling: cold hard cash.
Out of all my..ummm very-not-high number of years on this earth and all the presents I have been fortunate enough to receive, I still remember one special gift above the rest.
My Grandpa once gave me a book of construction paper. The thick craft pad contained every color of the rainbow when fanned and was held together by a very serious black spine. As my little hands started eagerly turning the hefty pages, I noticed a delightful trend. Standing proud in the binding of each page was a single, crisp dollar bill.
I couldn’t believe it- and by the shocked look on my Grandpa’s face, you’d think he was kicking himself for accidentally giving away a book stuffed with a bazillion dollars!
With every page turned and every dollar collected in hand, my face would shine a brighter shade of joy. Outwardly I was a precious little girl dressed in bows enjoying a loving Grandfather’s gift, but inside….oooooh man….
I was rockin out in my toddler rap video with my stuffed animal peeps gettin’ rained on by all those dolla dolla bills.
Ah yes, those were the days.
Although getting that same gift now would barely cover my electric bill, it was the combination of creativity, thoughtfulness and excitement that still make me smile when reminiscing today.
Moral of the story?
Please send cash.
Hungrygems thanks you.
And in return, I send you something so great that you won’t even notice your wallet having lost a few millimeters.
Creamy and crunchy, these ricotta cannoli pack a sweet but light birthday bite. An essence of orange citrus lingers just long enough to direct your tongue to the chocolate-y coating while sexy ricotta reminds you that this is a serious confection occasion.
Let’s take a cannoli stroll-y:
Guardians of the cream unite.
Dip. Dunk. Dry.
No birthday is complete without some form of frosting.
It’s like being backstage in the makeup room.
Add a festive filling.
Happy Birthday Hungrygems!
Easy Party Cannoli
These are the most simple, perfect party pieces! Smooth ricotta gets a sweet makeover with vanilla speckles and fluffy sugar. Follow this breezy recipe or easily adapt it to please your crowd. Are the sprinkles too punk for book club? Go chopped pistachios or almonds for a more adult tone. The orange zest is optional, but the lightness it brings is brilliant and those background notes come out when colliding with the dark chocolate.
- 8 fresh cannoli shells (can be purchased inexpensively at most Italian bakeries)
- 1 C chocolate wafers for dipping (you can use any blend- I used half dark chocolate and half milk chocolate)
- 1-2 tsp grapeseed or vegetable oil
- sprinkles or chopped nuts for decorating
- 2 C whole milk ricotta*
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 3/4 C confectioners sugar
- 1/4 tsp finely chopped orange zest, optional
* It is necessary to drain your ricotta overnight in a cheesecloth to remove excess liquid if it is wet or your filling will be runny. How to drain ricotta without a cheesecloth? Yeah, I didn’t feel like going back out for that either. I took a large coffee filter and used a fork 3 times to poke clean holes in the bottom of it. I then placed the cheese in the filter and placed the filter in a strainer over a bowl. In the morning, i rang out any excess moisture by squeezing the filter with the cheese and voila! It was cannoli time.
- Melt the chocolate and 1 tsp of oil over a double boiler. While it’s melting, place the cannoli shells on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet.
- If the chocolate is not smooth enough for dipping, add the other tsp of oil. Dip each end of the cannoli into the chocolate and then into the sprinkles or nuts. Place the finished shell back onto the wax paper to dry. Complete all cannoli shells.
- Place the drained ricotta, vanilla paste, sugar and zest (if utilizing) into a bowl and mix until completely blended.
- Use a piping bag or spoon to fill each dry cannoli twice- one time on each open end. Serve immediately. If not serving until later in the day, refrigerate filling and pipe right before service. Enjoy!