The German grocery store Aldi, which will open another Montgomery County location in North Bethesda’s White Flint Plaza by the end of this year, is known for its curated selection of private-label brands: More than 90% of Aldi’s products, including organic meats, gourmet cheeses and specialty wine, are exclusive brands. Fans of the 60-year-old retailer rave about the savings and usually chuckle about the no-frills experience; shoppers pay a 25-cent deposit to use a shopping cart at Aldi.
One longtime Aldi fan is author Jeanette Hurt, whose latest full-color cookbook is a love letter to the budget-friendly grocery store. “The Unofficial Aldi Cookbook” takes Aldi-brand ingredients and transforms them into 75 delicious dishes, such as stuffed chicken breasts, baked onion soup and cherry cupcakes with chocolate ganache.
Hurt also explores the brand’s history and offers some shopping tips to help newbies navigate any Aldi store.
This recipe for cannoli dip, from “The Unofficial Aldi Cookbook,” was inspired by the author’s sister, Karen. Be warned, though: Hurt says it’s hard to avoid finishing the addictive dessert dip in one sitting!
Yield: 3 cups or about 12 (¼-cup) servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
- 1 cup Special Emporium whole milk ricotta cheese or other ricotta cheese of your choice
- 1 (8-ounce) package Happy Farms cream cheese or other cream cheese of your choice
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (10-ounce) package chocolate mini-chips
- Graham crackers, cookies, or fresh fruit, to serve
- Place the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a food processor fitted with a standard blade. Blend on low for 1 to 2 minutes until smooth and creamy.
- Stir in the chocolate mini-chips. Serve with graham crackers, cookies, or fresh fruit.
- If you have some sweet brandy, chocolate liqueur, or Tuaca (a vanilla-and-spice-flavored sweet Italian brandy), add 1 tablespoon for extra flavor.
- If you’re looking to make a slightly healthier version, you can sub low-fat cottage cheese for the ricotta, and you can sub Neufchâtel cheese for the cream cheese. It’s still scrumptious!
- This also makes a toothsome filling for a layer cake.
Excerpted from The Unofficial ALDI Cookbook by Jeanette Hurt. Copyright © 2021 Ulysses Press. Reprinted with permission from Ulysses Press. New York, NY. All rights reserved.