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CIALDONI: SICILIAN RICOTTA BAKED SWEETS

In this recipe, we’re diving into the world of Sicilian baking with a recipe for Cialdoni, traditional Sicilian ricotta baked sweets. These delightful treats are made with a simple dough that’s filled with a creamy ricotta cheese mixture flavored with hints of citrus and vanilla. The dough is then folded over the filling and baked until golden and crispy, creating a deliciously indulgent dessert. What sets these Cialdoni apart is their light and airy texture, thanks to the ricotta cheese in the filling. The citrus and vanilla add a fragrant aroma and subtle sweetness that perfectly complements the creamy ricotta. Whether you enjoy them as a sweet treat with your morning coffee or as a dessert after dinner, these Sicilian ricotta baked sweets are sure to become a new favorite in your home.

Cialdoni: Sicilian Ricotta Baked Sweets

Cialdoni are traditional Sicilian baked sweets made with a simple dough filled with a creamy ricotta cheese mixture. The filling is flavored with hints of citrus and vanilla, giving it a fragrant aroma and subtle sweetness. The dough is folded over the filling and baked until golden and crispy, resulting in a light and airy texture. These treats are perfect for enjoying with coffee or as a dessert after a meal, and they're sure to become a favorite in your home.
Course Snack
Servings 3.5 dozen

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons lard cut into bits
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Warm milk as needed to make a dough
  • Melted butter/brush for coating cannoli forms

Filling

  • 1 pound ricotta cheese Sheep’s milk is traditional.
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar

Nut Topping

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped almonds toasted

Sugar Syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Confectioner’s sugar for sprinkling

Instructions
 

Dough

  • Sift the flour with the sugar in a large bowl. Add the Crisco or lard cut into small pieces, the vanilla, egg, and enough milk to make a smooth ball of dough. Wrap the dough and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Flatten the dough with a rolling pin and run it through a pasta machine until about 1/8 inch thick. Cut sheets into 3 inch diameter circles and wrap each one around well-buttered cannoli forms. Seal the edge with a little water and place the forms on parchment-lined baking sheets.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Bake until golden brown (about 15 minutes). Once baked, place them on racks to cool.

Filling

  • Put the ricotta cheese in a colander and drain it until it is dry and firm. Place it in a bowl and mix it well with the sugar.

Sugar Syrup

  • Mix the sugar in a saucepan with the water and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture looks clear and all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Brush the outside of the cylinders with the sugar syrup and gently roll them in the chopped almonds.
  • Fill the cylinders with the ricotta just before the serving; then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
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