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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday, JulieBakes!

It's amazing how quickly time flies!  I was at work on Monday talking about "smash cakes" -- of all things -- with a coworker, and I pulled up a picture on the blog of some mini cakes I had made a while ago.  While I was scrolling through the posts, I came across JulieBakes' 1st birthday post, and realized that that momentous anniversary was right around the corner (October 16th)!  I had two days to come up with a recipe and bake it, in order to get it done in time for the blog's actual second birthday (I imagine that 2 year old blogs are similar to 2 year old children, and celebrating their birthday a day or two late is beyond unacceptable).  No easy feat given the way work has been going (I was actually supposed to be off on Wednesday, but that changed, and I ended up having to work 6 days straight).  But I couldn't not celebrate.

So the first issue was what to make for the blog's second birthday.  I had some other baking I wanted to do, but didn't want to substitute one of those recipes for the birthday recipe.  Then I came across a recipe on Pinterest for what they called "Robicelli's Dom DeLuise Cupcakes."  I have to admit, I was intrigued by the name.  But when I saw that they were a cannoli-inspired cupcake, I was hooked.  I.  LOVE.  CANNOLIS!  And since this blog is an extension of me, JulieBakes.  LOVES.  CANNOLIS!

I have to say, I was a bit hesitant to make a cupcake that is another dessert altogether, but the tiramisu cupcakes that I've made on the blog were fantastic....and those Samoa cupcakes?  Well B still talks about them.  OK, so maybe it wasn't a bad idea after all. 

I have to say, these did not disappoint!  While I wouldn't say they taste exactly like a cannoli, the flavor is there, and it's delicious.

There's only one thing.  The original recipe said that it made 12 cupcakes.  I debated halving the recipe, since I'm really the only one celebrating, but decided to keep it at the full recipe, since I figured I could bring the leftovers with me on the wine tour this weekend.  But I didn't get 12 cupcakes.  Not even close.  I got 22 full-sized cupcakes AND 24 mini cupcakes.  Yes, you read that correctly!  But the most impressive thing?  The icing recipe made enough icing for all 46 cupcakes (although when I was typing the directions below, I saw that the icing recipe was for 24 cupcakes...but still, there was enough for them all!).  I just needed a little extra in terms of the decorations at the end, but I was incredibly impressed that there was enough icing for ALL the extra cupcakes!

Dom DeLuise (Cannoli-inspired) Cupcakes
From Robicelli's: A Love Story, With Cupcakes, found via Food52
(and by the way, I MUST get my hands on that cookbook!!)



2 cups sugar
3/4 cup shelled raw pistachios
10 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 cup of milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/3 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder


Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line a cupcake pan with 12 baking cups (or in my case, several cupcake pans with 46 baking cups).
Place the sugar and pistachios in a food processor and process until the pistachios are finely ground.
Set aside.
Melt the butter in a microwave.
Keep the butter warm; do not allow it to sit and cool off.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and egg whites on medium-low speed for 2 minutes until lightly foamy.
Increase the mixer speed to medium-high.
Pour the warm butter into the eggs slowly, so that the mixture tempers and the eggs do not scramble.
Once the butter is added, reduce the speed to medium-low.
With the mixer running, add the milk, vanilla, and salt.
Mix for 1 minute until well combined.
Sift together the flour and baking powder and stir into the pistachio mixture.
Add to the batter.
Mix on medium until just combined, about 30 seconds.
Remove the bowl and paddle from the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, ensuring that everything is well mixed.
Scoop the batter into the prepared baking cups, filling them two thirds of the way.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes (mine took 22-23 minutes for the full-sized cupcakes, and about 12 for the mini cupcakes), rotating the pan halfway through.
The cupcakes are done when the centers spring back when you touch them.
Remove the cupcakes from the oven. Let cool completely.
Ricotta Cannoli Icing
3 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup ricotta cheese, strained and pressed (which I did, but then I thought it was ricotta-y enough, and I added a little more ricotta without straining and pressing it)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4cup heavy cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Cream together the butter, ricotta cheese, and vanilla with a mixer set to "high" until light and fluffy.
Add powdered sugar a 1/4 cup at a time, beating well between each addition.
Add heavy cream.                
Continue to beat on high for an additional minute to incorporate air.
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, roasted and chopped finely

1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/4 cup candied citron or orange zest, finely diced (optional) -- I opted not to use it, because I don't particularly like the flavor, and well, it's my blog ;-)
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain or fluted tip with cannoli buttercream and pipe onto each pistachio cupcake.
Mix the chocolate chips, roasted pistachios, and candied citrus, if using, in a bowl and sprinkle on top of the cupcakes.

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