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By Sheri Silver

(The Nosher via JTA) — My love of Italian cuisine was honed at a very early age — there was no lack of Italian restaurants, pizzerias and bakeries. If I had to pick my favorite Italian pastry, it would be no contest – I am #teamcannoli all the way.

Something about the sweet, creamy filling, rich chocolate chips and crunchy shell has always been the trifecta of what a dessert should be. So why not put that delicious filling into an iconic Jewish pastry – hamantaschen?

As it turns out, this is a pretty amazing mash-up, one I’m sure will bring smiles to your friends and family at Purim.

If you’ve struggled with making hamantaschen in the past, I’m sharing all of my tried-and-true tips gathered over years of trial and error.

Mangia!

Ingredients:
Cannoli Filling:

1/4 cup ricotta cheese
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Hamantaschen Dough:

1 stick (4 ounces or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter or margarine, room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for sealing the hamantaschen
1/2 cup chocolate chips, for drizzling
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions:
Make the cannoli filling: In the bowl of a mixer, beat all ingredients except the chocolate chips till light and fluffy. Fold in the chocolate chips and refrigerate, covered, until needed.

Make the dough: Beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar till light and fluffy; scrape down the sides. Add the milk and vanilla and beat till incorporated. Scrape down the sides. Add the flour and salt and beat again. Divide the dough into 2 pieces and place each between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Roll each to a 1/2-inch thickness, stack the doughs on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to 3 days).

Preheat oven to 375.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with one dough at a time, place on your prepared baking sheet and cut out circles using a drinking glass or cookie cutter (I used a 2 1/2-inch cutter). Gather trimmings, re-roll and cut.

Brush the edges of the circles with a bit of the beaten egg white and place 1/2 teaspoon of cannoli filling in the center. Fold the dough into a triangle shape and pinch the corners and edges firmly together. Brush the dough with more of the egg white.

Bake hamantaschen until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. When cooled, place on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Last, melt the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in the top half of a double boiler set over barely simmering water. Cool slightly and transfer to a disposable pastry or Ziploc bag. Snip a small opening in the corner and drizzle the chocolate over the hamantaschen. Refrigerate till set. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

(Sheri Silver writes the blog Donuts, Dresses and Dirt (http://sherisilver.com/))

The Nosher food blog offers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at www.TheNosher.com.