My daughter is 5-years-old and loves to help in the kitchen. She’s good at following instructions and this is a recipe that small children can easily help with. First, we got right to work straining the homemade ricotta cheese. This is important and it must sit for several hours or up to overnight but really makes the recipe. All you do is either place the ricotta into a piece of cheese cloth and place it in a small sieve strainer over a bowl so that the water drains out leaving the ricotta thick and rich. If you don’t have cheesecloth, you can drape a double layer of paper towels over a sieve or strainer and place the ricotta inside. The paper towel will allow the ricotta to drain excess liquid into the bowl. Check back several hours later (or overnight) and you should see a visible thickening of the ricotta. You are now ready to make your parfaits!
I love the flavor of a cannoli but we do not indulge in them very often. So I asked my daughter if she wanted to make a dessert parfait that used her favorite graham crackers and some crumbled up ice cream cones and her favorite – chocolate chips! She thought this was a fabulous idea — and really who wouldn’t! Chocolate, Hello! With no oven involved and just a little bit of chopping for the pistachios, these parfaits made for a perfect “Cooking with Kids” style dessert. She really could not have been happier with the results.
- 1 Container (16 oz.) Ricotta, strained or fresh ricotta
- 1 (8oz) package of cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp Vanilla extract
- ½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup chopped pistachios
- Waffle cones, pizzelle cookies, graham crackers or fresh fruit for dipping
- Add the ricotta and cream cheese into a large bowl and blend well using an electric mixer.
- Add in the sugar and vanilla extract and mix just until well combined.
- Stir in the chocolate chips and pistachios.
- Serve with your choice of fruits, cookies, or ice cream cones.
Straining the ricotta cheese: This is important and should drain for several hours or up to overnight. Place the ricotta into a piece of cheese cloth and place it in a small sieve strainer over a bowl so that the water drains out leaving the ricotta thick and rich. Alternatively, if you don't have cheesecloth (like me) you can drape a paper towel or two or even a clean, lint free tea towel over the sieve strainer and place the ricotta inside. The paper towel or tea towel will act the same as the cheese cloth in allowing the ricotta to drain excess liquid into the bowl.