By: Melissa Savegnago
Cannolis are a staple pastry dessert in the Italian culture. They are simply delicious. Cannolis are not too sweet, filled with a smooth creamy filling and crunchy on the outside. Cannolis were first made in Sicily, but have now spread over not only many parts of Italy, but also all over North America.
Traditionally, the filling used inside the cannoli is made with ricotta cheese, but there are other versions that you can find in bakeries. There are some canolli that are filled with a cream filling and even some filled with a vanilla or chocolate custard. They are all worth a try in my opinion.
The reason I chose this recipe specifically is because they have a significant meaning to my family and I. Basically, they are a dessert that we eat together, and it always brings a smile to everyone’s face. We don’t have this great treat very often; in fact it is only once a year. My grandmother is the one who makes them and it is always during the Christmas holidays. When we sit down to eat cannoli, it is always after a huge Christmas meal and right before we open our presents. When I think of cannoli, I think of that wonderful time of year. Cannoli brings back many great memories, and always reminds me of my grandmother and her great Italian cooking.
Of course because this dessert is so delicious, we can’t wait for that one time of year that they are made from scratch; therefore, we buy them from the Italian bakery. It’s very funny because we always buy a mix of pastries and my uncle always says, “I call a cannoli.” Cannolis aren’t the easiest recipe to try, but if you succeed you won’t regret it!
- 3 cups of flour
- ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 3 tablespoon of granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoon of firm butter cut into small cubes
- ¼ cup of a good Marsala wine
- 1-2 egg whites, whisked slightly
- 2 cups fresh ricotta
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced candied orange peel
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1. To drain the ricotta cheese, put the cheese into a cheese cloth and let it sit over night. This is so that the cloth soaks up all the water. Take the ricotta cheese that has been drained and put it into a bowl. You begin to work the cheese for a couple of minutes so it softens, and then mix it with the confectioners’ sugar. You then fold in the chocolate chips, cinnamon, and candied orange peel. This will then be the filling that you use for the shells.
2. For the shells you sift the flour, salt, cinnamon and granulated sugar. Then mix in the butter and eggs with a fork. You will then slowly add in the Marsala wine until the dough comes together. Then form it into a large ball and let it rise for 15 minutes. You will then need a cutting board, which has been dusted with flour. Roll out the dough until it is ¼ of an inch thick. You then need a 3-½ inch round cutter that will be used to cut circles out of the dough. Roll out this dough and fold it into the shape of a cannoli shell. You then use the egg whites as a glue to hold the shell together. Have about 3 cups of oil slightly boiling at 350 degrees. Fry the shells one at a time for about one minute. Then lightly remove them using tongs and let them sit.
3. Once the shells are prepared, you can begin to fill them by putting the filling into a baking bag. Make sure to cut a hole that it one inch away from the narrow end of the bag. After you have done this, you can squeeze the filling into your shells and enjoy!