Cannoli Cloud Cookies

Deborah B.

The Grand Prize winner for the 2021 Holiday Cookie Recipe Contest goes to this buttery soft and chewy cookie filled with ricotta cheese, cream cheese and the perfect hint of orange! The winner, Deborah B., creatively combined unique flavors and ingredients to make a cookie so delicious it feels like you're floating in the clouds.
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2 hr 15 min Prep Time
15 min Cook Time
  • Prep Time: 2 hr 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min

Ingredients

  • Cookies:

  • 1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon mini semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • For Rolling:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Filling:

  • 2/3 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons softened salted Real butter
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 4 teaspoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • Pinch fine grain sea salt
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Ganache:

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • Garnish:

  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red and green sprinkles

Instructions

Cookies:

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Step 2

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes or until light and creamy. Add egg, zest and extract; beat well. Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl. Gradually add to wet ingredients; beat in on low speed. By hand, stir in chocolate morsels.

Step 3

Place sugar on a shallow plate. Roll 44 level Tablespoons of dough into balls. Roll in granulated sugar. Place several inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Press flat into 2 inch rounds with the bottom of a glass (dip bottom in sugar if it sticks).

Step 4

Bake one sheet at a time on center rack for 8 1/2 to 9 minutes or until mostly firm on tops and golden brown around edges. Cool on sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer to cooling racks to cool completely. Flip half of the cookies over, placing their flat sides up.

Filling:

Step 5

Whip the ricotta, butter, cream cheese, orange juice, zest and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Add the powdered sugar; beat until smooth and creamy.

Step 6

Spoon mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a small flat or round tip. Pipe a generous amount of filling evenly onto the flat sides of half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down. Press together gently. Refrigerate uncovered for 1 hour to set filling.

Ganache:

Step 7

Heat cream and zest in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until bubbling at the edges. Add chocolate morsels and extract. Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat.

Step 8

Tip pan slightly and dip about 1/3 of one end of each cookie evenly into ganache. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Lightly coat top of ganache portions with sprinkles. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until ganache is set.

Step 9

Once set, store cookies layered with parchment in a sealed container in the refrigerator.