Homemade cannolis may be time intensive, but oh so worth it!
A little crunch, a little chocolate, all filled with delicious sweet cream. Cannolis are one of the most popular Italian treats, and you can make them at home!
Courtney Rich shares how to make your own cannoli dough. She shares some tasty flavor combinations, and how to use store bought pie dough if you want something a little quicker.
For the shells
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, diced into small pieces
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup marsala wine*
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg white
- Vegetable oil or shortening, for frying (about 8 cups)
*You can replace with cooking wine or white grape juice with 1 tablespoon white vinegar.
- Add flour, sugar and salt to your food processor. Pulse about 12 times in short bursts.
- Add butter and pulse in short bursts just until there aren’t clumps of butter.
- Add in marsala wine and whole egg. Pulse to mix well, while adding additional wine to bring dough together in a slightly soft mass (you shouldn’t need more than a few extra tablespoons of wine.
- Shape into a round ball and then transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover and let rest at room temperature at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
- When ready to make the cannoli shells, heat a large pot with 1 1/2-inches vegetable oil to 375 degrees.
- Start with half of the dough and keep the rest covered in the bowl.
- On a very well flour surface, roll out the dough very thinly – almost paper thing.
- Use a 4-inch cookie cutter to cut dough into rounds.
- Spray cannoli forms with cooking spray then wrap individual dough circles around each cannoli form, while brushing about 3/4-inch of one end lightly with egg white (use a pastry brush or just your fingertip).
- Press edge to to opposite side.
- Using metal tongs, carefully immerse shell in preheated oil and fry until golden brown and crisp, about 1 – 2 minutes (be sure to watch oil temp so oil doesn’t get too hot and burn shells.) Remove from oil using metal tongs to grasp the cannoli shell (let oil from inside forms drain back into pot), transfer to paper towels to drain.
- Let cool for about 5 to 10 minutes and then use metal tongs to hold the cannoli rod (or folded layers of paper towels) and wrap a paper towel around shell to carefully slide off of form.Let forms cool and repeat process with remaining dough circles. You can shake excess flour from scraps, press back together, cover in bowl and let relax at least 10 minutes then reuse.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack then fill with cannoli filling and decorate as desired (with melted chocolate on edges, chopped pistachios, mini chocolate chips or dust tops with powdered sugar).
For the filling
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp EZ Gel powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, plus more dipping the ends.
A couple days before making the ricotta filling, pour the ricotta over a mesh strainer resting on a mixing bowl. Cover the ricotta and the bowl and allow to drain as much liquid out as possible for a couple days before using.
In a small metal bowl that’s been frozen for ten minutes, beat the cream on high speed, while gradually adding the EZ Gel, until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine the ricotta, cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and beat until well combined.
Fold in the heavy cream to the ricotta mixture.
Gently stir in the 1/4 cup chocolate chips.
Put the filling in a piping bag and use to fill the cannoli shells. Drip the open ends of the cannoli into the extra chocolate chips.