Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Pastry Fail Yielding Tasty Italian Cookies

I have been craving Cannoli's pretty much since I was in Boston last April, I did manage to get my hands on one good one over the Christmas Holidays, but they are definitely on my Italian baking bucket list. However, I need to get a set of the little metal tubes to form the cannoli's around while you fry them (mom!) so in the mean time I turned my ambitions to another filled Italian pastry: Sfogliatelle... or it's Americanized version lobster tails.

How they are supposed to turn out:

Now before heading to the grocery store on the way home from the lab I googled about 6 different recipes and did as I have done in the past successfully (for instance my home made ravs) and combo-ed things together on a sheet of paper and went with that.

But along the steps, things looked right.

The dough seemed to have the right, just barely held together consistency...although when it was too dry I added extra water rather than extra butter... should have gone with the butter I think. I even rested it for an hour and a half before moving on.

I sheeted the dough to the thinnest setting on my pasta machine (which was a task in of itself), spread it with actual lard and stretched it as I rolled it up. Then rested again for 2 hours (I really spent all night on this).

In the oven they looked like they were on their way... but I did mess up the filling... somehow I didn't remember to drain my ricotta until it was too late, so I took all sorts of creative strategies to fix that problem.

The product of an entire Thursday worth of effort was a tin full of tasty Italian feeling cookies, that were eve better when dipped in the leftover chocolate ricotta filling. However, they didn't flake like pastry or feel like pastry.

Kevin says this is because I didn't follow the recipe (singular exactly).

I hate to ever have to say it, but he was right.

Good thing he doesn't actually read my blog!

Have you ever tried this masterpiece of the Italian bakery? What is your favourite pastry? Let me know in the comments.


  1. Ambitious! They do look delicious! I love to bake but I usually stick to the simple stuff that you can whip up and put in the oven in one go, like cookies or brownies. My attention span is quite short ;-)

  2. pastry is my nemesis.. i made danish 2ish years ago and still have nightmares about killing 3 packets of yeast before getting it right.

    where'd you go in boston? I prefer Modern over Mike's ;)

  3. My husband really love because he always brought some at the office.

    Peet S Coffee

  4. OMG. These look AMAZING. Now I'm hungry.