Cannoli

This recipe has been featured in a post on The Recipe Girl blog with step-by-step instructions and many photographs: How to Make Homemade Cannoli.

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Cannoli

Yield: 16 cannoli

Prep Time: 1 hr + chilling time

Cook Time: 1 hr, 25 min

I've been in love with cannoli ever since I visited Mike's Pastry Shop in the North End of Boston. This homemade version is a close second to Mike's :)

Ingredients:

CANNOLI SHELLS:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons shortening (or butter), melted
3/4 cup sweet Marsala
1 large egg white

FILLING:
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, drained overnight w/ cheesecloth & squeezed dry
3/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon Grand Marnier
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

FOR FRYING:
canola oil

FOR FINISHING:
mini chocolate chips, chopped pistachios, candied orange peel or chopped chocolate
powdered sugar, optional

Directions:

1. Prepare shells: Combine the dry ingredients and mix in the butter and Marsala until you get a stiff, smooth dough. Form the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

2. When you're ready to make the shells, place enough oil in a fry pan so that the cannoli shells will be able to be covered completely when frying. Dip each of the metal cannoli forms in oil and set on rack. Heat oil to 350°F. You'll need to use a thermometer because it's important that the oil is right around that temperature. Too hot, and you'll burn the shells. Too cool and the shells will turn out greasy and soft.

3. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut into four pieces. Start with one piece and roll it out on a floured surface until very thin- as thin as you can get it without having it tear apart. If you have a pasta rolling machine, roll it through several times until it is smooth and thin. (On my KA pasta machine attachment, I used #4 on my machine.

4. Once your dough is rolled out, cut out 4-inch circles. I used the top of a plastic bowl that had a 4-inch diameter and it worked just fine. Wrap cut cannoli dough around metal form & brush edges with egg white to seal. Use tongs to set it in the heated oil. Let it fizzle for about 2 minutes, watching that it isn't getting too dark. Remove with tongs and set on rack to drain. Let cool a bit and then carefully slip shell off of the form. They will be thin and crispy, so you'll need to do so carefully, perhaps using folded up paper towels to help wiggle it off the form.

5. For filling: Mix filling ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (at least a couple of hours).

6. When ready to fill the cannoli (should do so only a few hours before serving- if you fill them too far ahead, they will begin to get soggy), place filling in a pastry bag with a wide tip opening (or simply a freezer zip bag with the corner snipped off). Hold a cannoli shell in one hand and the squeeze bag in the other. Gently squeeze filling into both ends of the shell to fill it. Let the filling come out of each end a little bit. Edge the cannoli with desired decor... mini-chocolate chips, chopped chocolate, chopped pistachio, etc. Remove to a platter and repeat with remaining shells. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

7. When ready to serve, give the cannoli a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top if you wish.

Tips:

*Vanilla extract may be substituted for the Grand Marnier.
*Metal cannoli tubes can be ordered online, but they can also be found in well-stocked cooking stores.
*You don't *have* to have a pasta rolling machine to make the cannoli dough, but it makes it much easier to get nice, thin dough.
*Cannoli shells can be made a day or two in advance. Store in a sealed plastic container.
*Flavor will make a difference if you use really good quality ricotta & mascarpone cheese.
*If you cannot locate mascarpone cheese, you can substitute cream cheese.
*And if you want to make this really, really easy... purchase some ready-made cannoli shells at a good Italian deli, and fill them with this delicious filling.

Source: RecipeGirl.com (Adapted from a discussion on Serious Eats)

Leave a Comment




14 Responses to “Cannoli”

  1. 1

    Memoria — April 25, 2009 @ 4:41 PM

    Is there a substitute for the alcohol?

  2. 2

    RecipeGirl — April 25, 2009 @ 5:45 PM

    Memoria, I don’t know of one, but I’m sure you could easily find another cannoli dough recipe on the internet that does not have the Sweet Marsala in it. As far as the filling, you don’t have to use Grand Marnier… you can use vanilla extract instead.

  3. 3

    kristen — November 13, 2009 @ 1:44 PM

    Not going to lie, I bought cannoli shells from the Italian general store here in Mpls, however I was looking for a recipe that used both marscarpone and ricotta (simply because I have had marscarpone in the fridge for awhile and wanted to use it.) It was surprising to find, via my internet search, that many people don’t use both cheeses. I wonder why–I should think the marsc would add flavor to it and make the cannolis more rich? Either way, I’ve very glad to have found your recipe! The filling tastes great, but I’m waiting until dinner to serve them! Thanks again!

  4. 4

    ashzab — April 11, 2011 @ 11:03 PM

    I looked and couldn’t find a recipe without the alcohol. I don’t usually carry alcohol on hand. Would it be weird or doable to substitute the wine with another liquid like say apple or grape juice?

  5. 5

    Lori Lange — April 12, 2011 @ 5:40 AM

    @ashzab, I’ve never subbed, but you could certainly try it.

  6. 6

    Daniela — November 30, 2011 @ 2:20 AM

    Hi Lori, I was looking for a quick and easy recipe for the cannoli shells and I found it on your website! The only thing left is trying them…. thank you for sharing, your website is great!

  7. 7

    Jeff — January 29, 2012 @ 1:38 PM

    Lori,

    Thanks for sharing such a well documented, step-by-by recipe for cannoli. Only 1 question: what size (w/ respect to the diameter) of cannoli tubes did you purchase? I ask because when I went to purchase a set on-line, there are various sizes available. Also, your recipe predicts around 16 cannoli & if one uses a larger diameter tube than you did, then the results won’t be the same. Thanks so much again.

  8. 8

    Lori Lange — January 29, 2012 @ 4:13 PM

    5.8 x 1 x 1 inches
    Such as this one: http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-3660-Stainless-Steel-Cannoli/dp/B000LBU1VQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327882351&sr=8-1

  9. 9

    naseem — February 28, 2013 @ 3:49 AM

    hi what is marsala.

  10. 10

    Lori Lange — February 28, 2013 @ 10:49 AM

    Marsala Wine

  11. 11

    Carol Rood — April 18, 2013 @ 12:41 PM

    Hello,
    I made these today. Homemade shells and all. I also made one batch following the recipe for the filling exactly and one using part skim ricotta and truvia in place of the powdered sugar.

    I will say I thought the cinnamon added a flavor to the filling that was not completely pleasant to me, and seemed to make the filling grainy?
    It was also not as sweet as some other cannoli I have had.

    On the positive side the recipe was extremely easy to follow and made perfect sense. Every step was outlined beautifully. I will link my post to this one as soon as I write it. :-)

  12. 12

    caitlin — June 18, 2013 @ 8:52 PM

    i am just 12 but i an making this as a surprise for my dad thanks for the resipie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. 13

    Phoebe — April 17, 2014 @ 4:47 AM

    Hi there! Do you have any suggestions for flavoring the filling? I was hoping to make it chocolate, but I’m not sure how much cocoa powder I should add. Thanks!!

  14. 14

    Lori Lange — April 18, 2014 @ 9:15 AM

    I’m not sure. Google around though, and I’m sure you’ll find a chocolate cannoli filling recipe somewhere!