This last week I decided to take on a new challenge...making cannoli! I should preface this story with the confession that I really am not a baker. I much prefer cooking but I ventured out of my comfort zone. I also didn't realize how much work go into these delicious morsels but I was all in. I even went to Lowes to have custom made dowels cut for me.
Thursday I figured that if I tackled the shells I could fill them on Friday and not be stressed for time since we were leaving for the weekend that evening. So on Thursday I was very happy and excited to get started on what I thought would be a pretty easy road. First step, tackle the dough. Mixing all the ingredients went smoothly, I mean how hard can it be to combine all my ingredients, but when it came to actually kneading the dough for at least 15 minutes I simply couldn't do it. I think I lasted maaaaaaaybe 8. Even though I knew I probably didn't knead it long enough I thought that this will have to do. I let the dough ball rest for a couple hours and brought it back out to roll and cut. I was already fatigued from the kneading that it was a tad difficult to even roll the dang ball out thin enough for the shells. Once again I said out loud, "this will have to do." Except I'm pretty sure I said it in between heavy labored breathing because I am so out of shape! If I didn't know it then I sure do now. Note to self...start lifting some weights. I get all my circles cut out, roll the dough around the dowels and prepare the hot oil for frying. The smell that those fried shells made was amazing. After I let the rolls sit and cool I put them in a ziplock bag for the next day to fill.
Thankfully I was thinking ahead and didn't wait until the very last second to pull them down. I thought, I'd better try one before I fill them all. Uh oh...it was chewy!!!!! Literally, my jaw was tired just from getting through one. Crap. I immediately panic because I don't have time to make another batch, nor would I have been able to even muster up the strength, and get myself to the computer to look up bakeries. I call the Italian deli down the hill first to see if they sell cannoli shells and they did. I was in luck. So I swing by to purchase the shells and finish my little project. It only took about one second to notice my shells were NOTHING like the ones from the deli. I will say that the filling was very tasty and will definitely keep that recipe handy. Lesson learned and this experience hasn't scared me away from trying again. After I get a mixer of course!