Gluten-Free Apple Crisp 🍎

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy

We're keeping things simple for Thanksgiving this year so we will forgo the traditional apple pie & pumpkin cheesecake for our (OH so simple & delicious) gluten-free apple crisp. Not having to make pie crust saves a lot of time in the kitchen with better than pie results! We use Gala apples for this recipe as they are juicy, sweet, and hold their shape well. It’s a big hit with our family by itself or topped with a little vanilla ice cream or a Klondike Heath Bar divided (pictured below).

Ingredients

    • cast-iron skillet (10-inch preferred but  12-inch will do)
    • 5-7 large Gala apples (approximately 1200 g), peeled, cored & cut into wedges
    • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/3 cup white sugar
    • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1½ tsp cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    • 3 Tablespoons salted butter
    • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/4 water
    • Crispy Topping
    • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour (we use Bob’s Redmill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour)
    • 2½ Tablespoons brown sugar
    • 2½ Tablespoons white sugar
    • 3/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp table salt
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) salted melted butter
    • 3/4 oats (regular old fashioned or Quaker 1 minute)
    • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a large bowl place the apples, lemon juice, white sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Toss until all apples are well coated and combined. Set aside.
  3. Melt 3 Tablespoons of butter in a heated cast-iron skillet.
  4. Add the 1/3 cup of brown sugar. Stir to combine well.
  5. Add the apple mixture to the skillet, mix well. On medium-low heat keep a simmer while preparing the topping.
  6. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, 2½ Tablespoons of brown sugar, 2½ Tablespoons of white sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  7. Once combined, add the 8 Tablespoons of melted butter. Stir well to combine.
  8. Add the oats and chopped pecans.
  9. Stir the apples in the skillet, liquid should start to thicken. Add 1/4 cup of water over the apples and combine. It will create a syrupy mixture when done.
  10. Remove skillet from the heat and sprinkle the crispy topping mixture evenly over the top.
  11. Place the entire cast-iron skillet in a pre-heated 375º F over and bake for 35 minutes until the crispy top is golden brown edges are bubbling.
  12. Best served while hot but delicious cold or at room temperature too. Top with vanilla ice cream for an added treat!

Note: To cut your total prep time in half, peel, core & slice your apples ahead of time.  Sprinkle some lemon juice on them to prevent apples from turning brown then cover & refrigerate until you start the mixing portion of ingredients.

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Italian Rainbow Cookies – Twiins Style

Italian Rainbow Cookies - Twiins Style

  • Servings: 8 doz
  • Difficulty: Medium

It's our favorite time of year again as we start our holiday baking together. It doesn't matter if the holiday is Thanksgiving or Christmas, we have been baking together for over 40 years, a holiday tradition we love. Christmas music is playing in the background while we reminisce about our childhood & Christmas's of long ago. One of our family's favorite holiday cookie is the Italian Rainbow cookie that you see in every Italian bakery all year round. We also make this recipe Gluten-Free by substituting Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour for the all-purpose flour! They are the first to disappear from the holiday cookie tray...you, your family & friends will love them. ❤️❤️

Ingredients

  • 1 jar apricot preserves (12-16 ounces)
  • 1  12-ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1  12-ounce can of Solo almond paste
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted (for a gluten-free substitute use Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Food Coloring, red & green (if you want a more yellow layer, add yellow coloring to the 3rd bowl)
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs, separate yolks and whites
  • chocolate sprinkles (optional)
  • 3  9×12 baking pans

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Grease all three baking pans heavily with butter then line each pan with parchment paper or wax paper, leaving enough overhang to lift and slide out of the pan after baking.  Grease heavily again.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, break up the almond paste, butter, sugar, almond extract, sugar, and egg yolks. Beat until light & fluffy, about 10 minutes on a medium speed stand mixer.
  4. Beat in flour & salt.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. With a wooden spoon, fold in egg whites to the almond mixture until you no longer see the whites.
  6. Divide the mixture equally into 3 bowls. (To be accurate, weigh each mixture on a digital scale)
  7. Add food coloring to each bowl, leaving the 3rd bowl plain, or add yellow coloring if you prefer a more yellow layer. Mix color in well.
  8. Spoon each color into separate prepared baking sheets. Spread evenly then bake at 350º pre-heated oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Do not let the edges brown.
  9. Layers are done when you can gently touch the center and it bounces back. Remove from oven and place on cake racks for 5 minutes to cool.
  10. Holding the overhang ends of the parchment paper, carefully lift and slide the layer, supporting underneath, onto a flat surface (countertop).
  11. Cool completely.
  12. Use a large cookie sheet and invert the first layer (red) onto the cookie sheet. Carefully remove parchment paper.
  13. Heat the preserves until it bubbles. Using a fork mix well to loosen some of the chunks. Remove from heat and using a spatula, spread enough preserve to evenly cover the entire layer. Don’t worry if it drips down the sides.
  14. Repeat for the middle layer (plain or yellow).
  15. After inverting the last layer (green, do not spread with preserves). Cover with parchment paper and place a baking sheet on top. Weigh it down with some heavy books or cans for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator or overnight.
  16. Remove from the refrigerator when ready to add the chocolate layer.
  17. Trim all edges to be uniformed with a very sharp knife. (Don’t throw out the trimming…they are great to taste).
  18. Melt chocolate in the microwave* a little at a time until melted through.
  19. Spread melted chocolate over the top layer and down the sides. Add optional chocolate sprinkles while chocolate is still warm.  Refrigerate uncovered for at least one hour then cut into 6 or 7 even rows & bite-size pieces of your choice when ready to serve.
  20. Line an airtight container with parchment or wax paper and store layers in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Should last about 10 days if kept in the refrigerator.

Note:  It has been our experience that Nestlé’s chocolate chips will seize if melted using the double boiler method.  Nestlé’s appears to have changed their formula as we used to use the double boiler method up until last year. We recommend using the microwave for best results.

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twiinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

 

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Healthier Italian Cannoli Cream – Twiins Style

Healthier Italian Cannoli Cream - Twiins Style

  • Servings: 8 Small Cannoli
  • Difficulty: Easy

Today marks a very special milestone birthday for us. To add to our celebration we're making a healthier version of our favorite birthday dessert...Cannoli. We weren't sure how the texture would be effected using part-skim ricotta instead of whole milk ricotta, but as it turned out we were very happy with the results, The texture isn't quite the same but hardly noticeable. Since we didn't want to give up our favorite dessert using part-skim ricotta was a huge success for us. If eating healthier means you think you have to give up your favorites, we proved you don't have to. ❤️❤️

Ingredients

  • 12.5 ounces part-skim milk ricotta (drained for 2 days in the refrigerator to remove all excess liquid)
  • 4 ounces granulated sugar
  • 0.083 ounces vanilla extract
  • 1 tiny drop of cinnamon oil
  • 1 drop Fiori di Sicilia
  • 1/2 Tablespoon candied citron, diced (optional)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon candied orange peel, diced (optional)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons semi-sweet Mini chocolate chips (may substitute with bittersweet chips, depending on your preference.)
  • chopped nuts or mini chocolate chips, your preference, for garnish
  • powdered sugar

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl place the drained ricotta cheese into the bowl, mix to combine with a spatula until smooth. (You can use a stand mixer if you prefer but this is a small batch so it’s not needed)
  2. Add granulated sugar and fold in until dissolved completely. The texture should be smooth, not grainy.
  3. Fold in the vanilla & cinnamon oil.
  4. Blend until incorporated.
  5. Gently fold in the citron, and/or candied orange, and mini chocolate chips.
  6. Place in a pastry bag and refrigerate until ready to pipe into cannoli & serve.
  7. Before piping, cut the tip of the pastry bag large enough to allow the chips to pass through.
  8. Garnish the ends to your liking and sprinkle with a little powdered sugar.
  9. Enjoy!

 

Notes: If making cannoli you can save time by purchasing the pre-made shells from Amazon or Costco.

Do not fill cannoli until ready to serve or your shells will be soggy.

Cannoli Cream Filling can also be used for cakes, cupcakes, and as a pastry filling.

 

 

Fold in and blend all ingredients. Refrigerate overnight or a minimum of 2-3 hours before serving.

 

 

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The Best Gluten-Free New York Style Black & White Cookies

The Best Gluten-Free New York Style Black & White Cookies

  • Servings: 12 medium 3-inch cookies
  • Difficulty: Medium

If you grew up on Long Island or anywhere in NY, then you remember how delicious Black & White cookies are. They came in all different sizes from large to super large & then the mini's, with half vanilla and half chocolate glaze. To save on calories we decided to go with the medium 3-inch size. They can be found in just about any bakery or deli in NY. No one really knows their origin but some folks think Glaser's (Bavarian) brought them over when they came to the US in the early 1900's. Glaser's of Yorkville, opened up their bakery in 1902 (closed in 2018), Hemstrought’s Bakery in Utica, New York, opened around 1925. If you're a Seinfeld fan you will remember the 'Look to the Cookie Elaine' from Season 5 Episode 13 Dinner Party. Regardless of their origin, they are a staple cookie of New York and loved by all. I love the white half so I eat the chocolate side first saving the best for last while Teresa loves the chocolate so she eats the vanilla first (go figure). For years no one has really perfected a gluten-free version of these iconic NY cookies until now. We are happy to bring you the best Gluten-free black & whites ever. You would never know they are gluten-free. Enjoy! ❤️❤️

Ingredients

For Cookies:

  • 1¼ cups Bob’s Red Mill One to One Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, well shaken
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (not imitation)
  • 1/2 tsp pure lemon extract (not imitation)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg

For Vanilla Icing:

  • 1½ cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (not imitation)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons hot water

For Chocolate Icing:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (we use Dutch processed cocoa)
  • 2 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (not imitation)
  • 1/2 tsp light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1-2 Tablespoons hot water (add extra to get the correct consistency)

Directions

Cookie Directions:

  1. Place rack in the middle of your oven. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a large measuring cup, stir together the well-shaken buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon extract.
  5. Using the paddle attachment in a stand mixer, beat together the butter & sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the egg and beat until well combined.
  7.  Beginning with flour mixture and ending with flour mixture, mix in flour mixture & buttermilk mixture alternately in batter at low speed until smooth.
  8. Place batter into a piping bag. Snip off the first 1-inch of bad to make a round hole.
  9. Starting in the center, pipe counterclockwise to about 2-inches diameter for medium size cookies. For larger cookie, pipe larger diameter.
  10. Place cookie sheet in preheated oven and bake 15 minutes for medium. Do not brown. Cookies are done when they spring back when touched.
  11. When done transfer to a cooling rack. In the meantime prepare the icings.
  12. Once completely cooled they are ready to ice.

Icing Directions Vanilla:

  1. Stir together confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 Tablespoon hot water in a small bowl until smooth.

Icing Directions Chocolate:

  1. Combine hot water, melted butter, vanilla and corn syrup in a small bowl.
  2. Whisk together the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Slowing pour the liquid ingredients into dry ingredients, whisking continuously until smooth. (Add a tiny bit of hot water if needed)

Icing Technique:

  1. Turn cookies over as you will ice the flat side only.
  2. Using a tablespoon, take a spoonful of vanilla icing and start in the center and push spoon towards the edge, covering half the cookie. Place cookie on rack with paper towels underneath to catch drippings.
  3. When set, do the same for the chocolate side. Let set completely before serving.
  4. To speed up the setting, these can be refrigerated for about 30 minutes.

Notes: If you don’t have buttermilk you can use 1 cup milk + 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar.

Our cookies are medium size, about 3 inches round. You can make about 8 large 6-inch round cookies with this recipe.

 

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twiinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

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Barbara’s Berry Cream Pie🥈

Barbara's Berry Cream Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Very Easy

If you ever paid a visit to Briermere Farms in Riverhead, Long Island then you know about their delicious pies. My favorite is their boysenberry! The tartness of the berries blending with the fluffy sweet cream filling is the perfect combination. Not being a pie maker I never heard of National Pie Day, which is celebrated every January 23rd. So, when the director of our Fitness Center sent a community-wide announcement about a pie contest to celebrate the event, I was intrigued. I decided to give it a try and make that boysenberry cream pie. I couldn't get fresh boysenberries here in NC so I decided to use fresh raspberries, blackberries, and canned boysenberries calling it Berry Cream Pie! I was thrilled with how it turned out. My husband Gary loves it and I'm happy to say my pie took 2nd Place 🥈 (Teresa's pie took 1st place🥇)

Ingredients

  1. 1 Sour Cream blind-baked pie crust
  2. 9-inch Pyrex pie dish

Berry Topping:

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 can boysenberries, reserve 3 Tablespoons of juice then drain well
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • 1 pint fresh blackberries
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Filling:

  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 (8 ounces) package full-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (full fat)

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Stir in the fruit, reserved boysenberry juice, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Set aside and let cool.
  3. Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, pour heavy cream into the bowl. Beat on medium until stiff peaks form. Transfer to another bowl.
  4. Replace the whisk attachment with a paddle attachment on the stand mixer. Combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla into the stand mixer bowl and beat until well combined, approximately 2 minutes.
  5. Fold in the whipped cream and sour cream until evenly incorporated.
  6. Spread cream filling into your blind-baked, cooled pie crust. Top with the cooled berry topping and place some fresh berries on top. Refrigerate pie at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

Notes: You could also add strawberries & blueberries or whatever berries you love.

 

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Teresa’s Banana Cream Bourbon-Caramel Pie 🥇

Teresa's Banana Cream Bourbon-Caramel Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Moderate

I always loved to bake & as a young bride baked many pies, cakes & desserts. I always chose the more difficult recipes as I loved the challenge. Since I hadn't made any pies for many years I almost backed out of our first community pie contest that Barbara so graciously entered us in. Let's just say I owed her, but that's a story for another time! My inspiration for this pie comes from a dessert our Dad used to make on some weekends while we were growing up. It was a delicious banana pudding & wafer dessert that he or Mom probably saw on the box of wafers or Jello pudding box. Wherever it came from we loved it. I'm excited to say my Banana Cream Bourbon Caramel pie took 1st place. {Barbara was sorry she talked me out of backing out because her berry cream pie took 2nd place!} 🤣🤣

Ingredients

Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

 Whipped Cream Garnish:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar

Bourbon Caramel Sauce :

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Bourbon
  • 1/2 tsp corn syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  1.  In a medium saucepan bring milk and cream to a simmer.
  2.  In a large bowl whisk sugar, cornstarch, flour, and salt.
  3. Add egg yolks one at a time; whisk until smooth (mixture will be very thick).
  4. Whisking constantly, gradually add the milk mixture to the yolk mixture.
  5. Return to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until thick, 2-3 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a blender and add butter and vanilla. Purée until smooth, 1-2 minutes.
  7. Transfer puréed mixture to a medium bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the vanilla cream pastry mixture. This will prevent a film from forming.
  8. Chill at least 2 hours or until set. This mixture can be made 1 or 2 days ahead and kept in the refrigerator until assembling the pie.
  9. Toast a handful of chopped walnuts in a small skillet until the aroma is released. Then add a tablespoon + of the caramel sauce and toss. Remove from heat and set aside to use as garnish.

Whipped Cream Topping:

  1. With an electric mixture, beat 1/2 cup cream and powdered sugar together until medium-stiff peaks form. Cover and chill.

Bourbon Caramel Sauce:

  1. In a medium saucepan stir sugar, bourbon, corn syrup, and 1 Tablespoon of water over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.
  2. Increase heat and bring to a boil without stirring, cook, occasionally swirling saucepot until sugar is a deep amber color, 6-8 minutes. (you can use a wet pastry brush to push down the sides).
  3. Remove the caramel from the heat and whisk the remaining 1/4 cup of cream, butter, and salt. Let cool for about 5-6 minutes then whisk in vanilla. Let cool and set aside until ready to drizzle over pie at room temperature.
  4. Spread 1/4 cup vanilla pastry cream evenly over the bottom of the pastry crust.
  5. Slice bananas into 1/4 inch rounds and layer over the pastry cream. Top with 1½ cups vanilla pastry cream.  Arrange the remaining banana slices over the top. Top the bananas with the remaining pastry cream.  Garnish with whipped cream and caramelized walnuts. Drizzle with caramel sauce and serve.

 

 

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Sour Cream Pie Crust

Sour Cream Pie Crust

  • Servings: 2 pie crusts
  • Difficulty: Easy

This recipe makes enough dough for 1 double-crust or 2, 9-inch single crusts. After testing so many crust recipes we found this recipe to be the most buttery, flakiest texture and best tasting in a homemade crust. We loved it so much we used it when we recently entered a local pie baking contest. We took 1st & 2nd place so we can assure you this crust is a winner! 😋

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream (do NOT use light sour cream)
  • 1 egg + 1 Tablespoon heavy cream, beaten together for the egg wash

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Cut butter into cubes and let sit in a warm spot for a couple of minutes after removing from the fridge.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar.
  4. Mix the cubes of butter over & into the flour, using your clean hands.  Squish the flour and butter together with your thumbs, fingers, and knuckles, making sure the butter coats all of the flour. Work the butter into the dough until you have what resembles a coarse meal with some flattened chunks of butter (Ok to have different size butter chunks). Using a fork, add the sour cream to the flour mixture & combine.
  5. Gather the pastry dough into a large ball. Divide the ball in half forming 2 disks.
  6. Work the dough until there are no cracks.  Don’t worry about overworking the dough. as this dough is different than typical pie dough.
  7. Sprinkle both sides of disks with a little flour than tightly wrap in plastic wrap. Once the dough is wrapped in plastic look for any cracks in the dough. You can smooth the dough and the edges with your warm hands to close any cracks. Chill both disks in the refrigerator for an hour or up to a day ahead.
  8. Remove the dough from the fridge, let sit for 5-10 minutes at room temperature, to become easier to roll out.  If it still feels too stiff to roll out, hold your hands around the edges to soften.
  9. To roll out, sprinkle a little flour on a clean, flat surface along with the top of the dough. As you roll the dough, check to make sure the bottom is not sticking. If it is, lift it up & sprinkle a little more flour.
  10. Roll out to 12 to 14 inches wide, to an even thickness (approximately 3/16 inches)
  11. Place the dough gently in an ungreased, 9-inch glass pie pan.
  12. For a pre-baked pie crust, as we used in our banana cream bourbon caramel pie or berry cream pie, you will need to Blind-bake first. (Instructions below)

Blind-baking this pie crust

This recipe has more fat in it than a regular crust, which can cause the sides to slump. Having said that, we have successfully pre-baked this crust by layering extra dough on the edges of the pie rim, freezing the crust for at least 30 minutes first, lining it with non-stick heavy-duty foil then filling it with rice and baked it at 350ºF for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and remove foil and rice. Lightly brush with egg wash and place pie back in the oven. Bake until golden brown, approximately 30-40 minutes. Barbara used the extra pie dough to make a braiding all around the rim.,  Place the braiding or cutouts using egg wash to adhere to pie edge.  Teresa used 1-inch flower cookie cutters to make a flower rim.

NOTE: If you’re freezing this dough for future use, wrap again, this time with aluminum foil and freeze (leave in the fridge overnight to thaw before using).

Recipe adapted from Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes.

 

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twiinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

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Cannoli Shells – Gluten-Free Twiins Style

Cannoli Shells - Gluten-Free Twiins Style

  • Servings: 40 small cannoli shells
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

It has taken 3 years of experimenting with countless cannoli shell recipes to get the cannoli shells to have the perfect texture, like the New York & Boston bakeries...not too crisp or too hard. We were persistent in trying to make a shell worthy of our cannoli cream. We were disappointed to learn that most of the Italian restaurants along with a lot of bakeries who serve/sell cannoli buy premade shells. It was a daunting journey and we were about to give up and buy the premade but we gave it one more try. Once we got the regular shell recipe to our liking we had to come up with a gluten-free recipe for Jack. We are thrilled to share our gluten-free recipe with you. They are delicious and so worth the effort!

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ c Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Flour 
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste 
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine (do not use cooking Marsala)
  • Vegetable oil for frying  to a depth of 3-inches
  • candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer
  • 3-4 qt. saucepan
  •  small/mini cannoli forms
  •  prepared Italian Cannoli Cream, Twiins Style

Directions

  1. Sift the gluten-free flour, sugar, cinnamon, cacao powder, and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Make a well in the center and add the cold butter. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter until the mixture has the consistency of coarse cornmeal.
  3. In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolks, wine & vanilla paste. Add to the flour, a tablespoon at a time, just until the dough begins to cling together. It should be lumpy.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until it is smooth and satiny and tiny blisters appear on the surface. The blisters mean that the wine is beginning its fermentation in the dough, which will produce a crisp, light shell. Under kneading will result in large, irregular air pockets in the dough that will puff up and explode when they hit the oil.
  5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  6. In a deep heavy-bottomed 3-4 qt saucepan, add enough oil to come to a depth of 3 inches; heat to 375ºF on a deep-fry or candy thermometer. You will need to adjust the heat from time to time to maintain 375º.
  7. After an hour, remove dough from the refrigerator.  Then divide the dough into 4 quarters.
  8. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to approximately 1/16 inch thick and cut it into 3-inch circles with a cookie cutter.
  9. Use a small pastry brush to lightly wipe some vegetable oil around each cannoli tube to prevent dough from sticking to the tube.
  10. Wrap each cutout of dough around the aluminum cannoli tube and seal the edges with a little water. The edges should overlap. Press down to seal well.
  11. Once the oil reaches 372º-375º, use a chopstick to slide through the cannoli tube and gently place it in the hot oil. Fry 2 or 3 at a time, depending on the size of your pan, just be careful as they cook quickly. If the shells are browning too quickly lower temperature to 370º. Temperatures may vary depending on a gas stove or electric so keep an eye on the candy thermometer as it changes quickly.  Use the chopstick to roll the tubes around until golden brown. They will dry a darker color once cooled. Using the chopsticks again, insert into tube and quickly remove to paper towel draped cooking rack to drain excess oil. Don’t worry if the tubes slide off the dough while frying. Just carefully remove the tube with your chopstick.
  12. Use oven mitts or triple folded paper towels to grab the hot tube and gently shake to slide the shell off. Completely cool and store in an airtight container or plastic baggies with a paper towel inside to absorb any excess oil. They will keep several weeks.
  13. To Fill: Do not fill cannoli until ready to serve or your shells will be soggy. Use a large pastry bag with or without a fancy tip. Fill the bag with cannoli cream and squeeze into the shells, filling half of each shell at a time; working from the center out to the ends.
  14. Decorate the ends with chopped pistachios, mini chocolate chips, candied orange peel or candied cherries. Shell ends can also be dipped in chocolate before filling.

Notes: Cannolo (plural: cannoli) The word cannoli means ‘pipes’ – pipes of crispy pastry filled with ricotta cream (the most common), pastry cream, chocolate cream, or pistachio cream.

Recipe adapted from Victoria Granof, Sweet Sicily: The Story of an Island and Her Pastries.

 

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twiinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

 

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Cannoli Shells – Twiins Style

Cannoli Shells - Twiins Style

  • Servings: 40 small cannoli shells
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

It has taken 3 years of experimenting with countless cannoli shell recipes to get the cannoli shells to have the perfect texture, like the New York & Boston bakeries...not too crisp or too hard. We were persistent in trying to make a shell worthy of our Italian Cannoli Cream, Twiins Style. We were disappointed to learn that most of the Italian restaurants along with a lot of bakeries who serve/sell cannoli buy premade shells. It was a daunting journey and we were about to give up and buy the premade but we gave it one more try. We are thrilled to share our recipe with you. They are delicious and so worth the effort! ❤️❤️

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste 
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine (do not use cooking Marsala)
  • Vegetable oil for frying  to a depth of 3-inches
  • candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer
  • 3-4 qt. saucepan
  •  small/mini cannoli forms
  •  prepared Italian Cannoli Cream, Twiins Style

Directions

  1. Sift the flour, sugar, cinnamon, cacao powder, and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Make a well in the center and add the cold butter. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter until the mixture has the consistency of coarse cornmeal.
  3. In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolks, wine & vanilla paste. Add to the flour, a tablespoon at a time, just until the dough begins to cling together. It should be lumpy.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until it is smooth and satiny and tiny blisters appear on the surface. The blisters mean that the wine is beginning its fermentation in the dough, which will produce a crisp, light shell. Under kneading will result in large, irregular air pockets in the dough that will puff up and explode when they hit the oil.
  5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  6. In a deep heavy-bottomed 3-4 qt saucepan, add enough oil to come to a depth of 3 inches; heat to 375ºF on a deep-fry or candy thermometer. You will need to adjust the heat from time to time to maintain 375º.
  7. After an hour, remove dough from the refrigerator. If using a pasta machine, make sure to flour the machine first. Then divide the dough into 4. Using your hands, flatten the dough into a small square or rectangular shape and pass through the pasta machine on “0”. Continue to pass through making sure to go up a number on the machine with each pass until you get through 5. The dough is now thin enough to cut out the circles using a 3-inch round cookie cutter on a floured surface.  Proceed to step 9.
  8. If you don’t have a pasta machine, on a floured surface, roll out the dough to approximately 1/16 inch thick and cut it into 3-inch circles with a cookie cutter.
  9. Use a small pastry brush to lightly wipe some vegetable oil around each cannoli tube to prevent dough from sticking to the tube.
  10. Wrap each cutout of dough around the aluminum cannoli tube and seal the edges with a little water. The edges should overlap. Press down to seal well.
  11. Once the oil reaches 372º-375º, use a chopstick to slide through the cannoli tube and gently place it in the hot oil. Fry 2 or 3 at a time, depending on the size of your pan, just be careful as they cook quickly. If the shells are browning too quickly lower temperature to 370º. Temperatures may vary depending on a gas stove or electric so keep an eye on the candy thermometer as it changes quickly.  Use the chopstick to roll the tubes around until golden brown. They will dry a darker color once cooled. Using the chopsticks again, insert into tube and quickly remove to paper towel draped cooking rack to drain excess oil. Don’t worry if the tubes slide off the dough while frying. Just carefully remove the tube with your chopstick.
  12. Use oven mitts or triple folded paper towels to grab the hot tube and gently shake to slide the shell off. Completely cool and store in an airtight container or plastic baggies with a paper towel inside to absorb any excess oil. They will keep several weeks.
  13. To Fill: Do not fill cannoli until ready to serve or your shells will be soggy. Use a large pastry bag with or without a fancy tip. Fill the bag with cannoli cream and squeeze into the shells, filling half of each shell at a time; working from the center out to the ends.
  14. Decorate the ends with chopped pistachios, mini chocolate chips, candied orange peel or candied cherries. Shell ends can also be dipped in chocolate before filling.

Notes: Click on the link for our gluten-free version: Cannoli Shells – Gluten-Free Twiins Style

Cannolo (plural: cannoli) The word cannoli means ‘pipes’ – pipes of crispy pastry filled with ricotta cream (the most common), pastry cream, chocolate cream, or pistachio cream.

Recipe adapted from Victoria Granof, Sweet Sicily: The Story of an Island and Her Pastries.

 

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twiinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

 

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Zeppole

Zeppole

  • Servings: Makes 45-50
  • Difficulty: Easy

Christmas wouldn't be the same without Mom's zeppole (Italian donuts). Fifty years ago, our Mom got this recipe from her neighbor Lucille and that was the start of our love affair with zeppole! From her first batch, they became a holiday favorite in our home. During the holiday season you would always find a pot filled with vegetable oil, just waiting for Mom to whip up a batch. Our home was always filled with friends and neighbors and Mom always had them available. Everyone loved them and they were quickly devoured. Our zeppole are heavenly with their light, spongy texture, and sprinkling of powdered sugar. Even Santa loves them & keeps coming back for more! ❤️❤️

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Presto* cake flour (sift before measuring)
  • 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 1½ lbs. of whole milk ricotta cheese
  • Vegetable oil, 2 to 3 inches deep for frying

Directions

  1. Slowly heat the vegetable oil in a 1 – 2 qt stainless steel saucepan, to a temperature of 375º. (use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature)
  2. In a large bowl, place the cake flour, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and ricotta cheese and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  3. When the oil temperature reaches 375º, take a flatware tablespoon of batter and using your index finger or another spoon,  carefully slide the batter off the spoon into the hot oil, being careful not to splash yourself. Set the timer for 3 minutes once they are in the pot.  Depending on the size pot you use, fry 2-4 at a time. They turn on their own so no need to turn them.
  4. After 3 minutes, remove to paper towels to drain any excess oil.
  5. Continue frying 2-4 zeppole at a time until batter is used up.
  6. Put the cooked zeppole in a serving dish and sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve while warm.

Notes:  *Presto cake flour is self-rising and contains baking powder & salt. If not available in your local grocery store, order from Amazon. Swan Cake flour is not self-rising and will require the addition of baking powder and salt; however, we don’t know you’ll get the same results.

Zeppole need room to turn over on their own so don’t crowd them. We used a small 1 qt saucepan and fried 2 at a time. If you want to fry 4 or 5 at a time make sure you use at least a 6 qt saucepan.

The powdered sugar will melt if they sit awhile before serving so sprinkle with additional powdered sugar as needed.

 

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twiinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

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