For the cookies:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
For the cream:
- 1 cup mascarpone
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon of extra strength coffee I brewed
- 1 tsp. instant expresso powder, finely ground
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
This dessert is seriously impressive and is off the hook in terms of flavors.
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Trace three 4-inch circles (as dark as you can) on each with a pencil; turn the parchment over.
2. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with 1/3 cup of the sugar until fluffy. Add the egg whites and beat until blended. Add the flour, orange zest, 1/4 teaspoon of the vanilla and the salt and beat until smooth.
3. Using a small offset spatula, evenly spread 1 tablespoon of the batter into each circle (try to make them pretty thin) Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time, for 8 to 9 minutes, or until lightly golden and browned around the edges (keep an eye on them and don’t let them get too brown). Immediately roll each cookie around a 1-inch-wide tube or dowel (or other tube-like thing - neck of a wine bottle works) and let cool until crisp. Carefully remove the cannoli from the tubes and transfer to a wire rack. Repeat twice with the remaining batter to make 18 cookies.
4. n a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone at medium speed with the cream, the coffee extract and the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla until firm peaks form.
5. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip (or a plastic bag with the tip cut off) with the coffee cream. Carefully pipe the mascarpone cream into both ends of the cookies, finishing with a small rosette at each end. Transfer the cannoli to a platter, dust them with confectioners’ sugar and serve.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days (you can also make the cookie tubes and store them before filling them with the cream). Yum!