Ready Made Ingredients
The WHERE TO FIND IT – READY MADE INGREDIENTS page provides ideas on where to find ingredients that can kick up your presentations and save you time.
Cannoli Shells (ready to fill)
Prepared regular or mini size cannoli shells can be purchased online, at specialty food stores, and at some bakeries and grocery stores, including Wegmans®. They're delicious, and make this dessert exceptionally easy. Fill with prepared mousse for amazing new cannoli flavors.
Find regular and mini size cannoli shells in Wegmans® Bakery Department and information about them at WEGMANS CANNOLI SHELLS.
Ready to Fill Cream Puff Shells
Cream puffs are a decadent way to serve mousses, and a delightfully light “container” to dress up mousses, sandwich fillings and cream cheese based dips. If you know a bakery that sells filled cream puffs, there’s a good chance they will sell you just the shells if you ask in advance. If you’re near a Wegmans®, many stores carry them in the fresh bakery section of their stores. You can see the details about those packages of 6 cocktail size cream puff shells at WEGMANS CREAM PUFF SHELLS.
Otherwise, frozen shells are your best bet. If you are serving a large crowd, or just don’t like to bake, these cream puff shells are just what you need. They can be thawed in the fridge and filled the night before your event, or at the last minute. They typically come in two sizes, regular (which holds about a good sized scoop of ice cream), or cocktail size (these hold about 1 Tablespoon of filling).
Frozen cream puff shells are available on line from the two following sources. The cream puff sizes and number included follows each link.
FOODSERVICE DIRECT: 60 cocktail size cream puff shells
BAKED JUST FOR YOU: 12 large or 24 small cream puff shells
If you want to make cream puffs yourself, directions can be found on the MAKE FROM SCRATCH page.
Ready to Heat Crepés
Although crepés are basically ultra thin pancakes, these delicate wrappers add a level of sophistication to creamy desserts, fruits and anything savory that can be served in a cream sauce. Ready-to-heat crepés are time saving and perfect for those who don’t like to cook, but want to entertain with style.
Ready-to-heat crêpes can be found at specialty produce stores, World Market®, Wegmans® and in some areas even Walmart®.
Available at World Market® stores (not online); see details about this product at WORLD MARKET CREPĖS.
Available at Wegmans® stores. See details about this product at WEGMANS CREPĖS.
Available online at AMAZON CREPĖS.
Prepared Crab Cakes
Most frozen crab cakes get fairly dismal ratings from real enthusiasts, but Trader Joe’s® and Phillips® (sold almost everywhere) are generally described as pretty good, for frozen cakes, if a bit lacking in flavor. This can be overcome with a light dusting of Old Bay®. For a large group, frozen crab cakes will probably be the best option because they’re already made and many can be cooked without thawing (or thawed at 30% power in the microwave).
Wegmans® sells fresh crab cakes in two sizes that mostly get pretty good reviews, clearly from real enthusiasts.
The most important elements that make crab cakes appealing are the amount of crab/size of crab pieces (more & bigger preferred), seasoning (how much Old Bay®) and the amount of breading (less is better). Lump and Jumbo Lump describe the biggest pieces of crab (they are also the most expensive).
If you want to make crab cakes yourself, directions can be found on the MAKE FROM SCRATCH page.
Ready to Fill Tart Shells
Most grocery stores carry graham cracker crusts (regular size & mini) and phylo shells for bite size tarts, which are fine if you’re in a hurry. Otherwise, it’s not that easy to find actual tart shells.
However, Clearbrook Farms offers shortbread mini tart shells in boxes (16 shells). They are carefully packaged so none will break in transit. Available online at AMAZON MINI.
Gourmand Specialties offers a box of 24 Pidy 1.75” sweet fluted tarts. They have good reviews, and orders are fulfilled by Amazon. Find them online at AMAZON FLUTED.
Amazon has a number of vendors who sell bulk tart shells (1-400); prices seem to run around $80-$100 (high cost per box, but low cost per shell), so if you like doing tarts and do them frequently, this is a good way to go. You’ll find them by searching on “tartlet shells.”