Holy Cannoli!

Okay, so a few weeks ago I was hanging out with Becky and a few of our other friends and I mentioned that I wanted to attempt making a vegan cannoli.  One of our friends asked if I would use tofu and Becky exclaimed “Tofu cannolis, that just doesn’t sound very good”.  I had to agree that it didn’t sound very appetizing, but since that time I have felt the intrigue of a culinary challenge nudging me toward the kitchen in pursuit.  Last week I ordered cannoli tubes and whole wheat pastry flour from Amazon and this weekend I went for it. 

First off were the cannoli shells.  I wasn’t quite sure how I would attempt them.  Normal cannoli shells are deep fried and that, of course, is just not acceptable in a skinnyfat girl kitchen!  I set my dilemma aside for a while as I put together the dough.

Cannoli Shells

  • 4 tablespoons butter or substitute
  • 1/3 cup sugar (I used raw sugar)
  • ½ cup applesauce (in place of two eggs)
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

I preheated the oven to 375.  At this point, I decided that I was going to oil the cannoli tubes, wrap the dough around the tubes, and bake them like that in the oven. 

I assembled the shells and baked them for about 20-30 minutes until the edges were slightly golden.  I let the shells cool before removing the cannoli tubes.

Now it was time for the real challenge, the filling.  Normal cannoli filling is made with ricotta cheese and while I don’t have a personal aversion to ricotta cheese, this was my tofu challenge.  I must admit, my feet were shaking in their socks, but I am pretty pleased with the result.

Mocha-Tofu Delight

  • 1 package silken tofu
  • ½ cup milk or substitute
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons ground coffee (I used Kona coffee)

Mix all the ingredients together with a hand mixer.  Try a sample before putting them in the shells and you will be amazed.  The ground coffee makes all the difference.  I would eat this by itself !

Now all you have to do is put the filling into the shells and there you have it, vegan tofu cannolis!  I topped mine with melted bittersweet chocolate, chocolate chips (not necessary, but pretty), coconut, and whipped cream.  Amore!  

If this isn't love, I don't know what is!

Okay, so I know these pictures make you want to make these right now!  So what if you don’t want to go to all the trouble of buying cannoli shells?  I would just make the dough into small round shapes, bake them, and make cannoli cookie sandwiches.  If you are scared of tofu, I’m sure that this recipe would work with the traditional ricotta cheese as well.   So take a chance and get baking!  It will be worth it, I promise! 

Additionally, I must inform you that I tried the recipe Becky posted for the Chocolate Chip Beany Blondies (in the “Beans with bananas, please” post)  and was completely and utterly floored!  Delicious!  The garbanzos really scared me since they are such a prominent part of the recipe (they also didn’t smell so great before putting them in the oven).   However, once they are baked, they are magnificent!  

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

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