Here’s a step-by-step recipe for making classic Italian cannoli at home. Cannoli are delicious pastry shells filled with a sweet ricotta cheese mixture. This recipe makes approximately 12 cannoli.
For the Cannoli Shells:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup white wine (or Marsala wine)
- Vegetable oil, for frying
For the Cannoli Filling:
- 2 cups ricotta cheese, drained
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup candied orange peel (optional)
Making the Cannoli Shells:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
- Add the softened butter and egg yolk to the dry ingredients. Mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Gradually add the white wine (or Marsala wine) to the mixture, stirring until a dough forms. You may need slightly more or less wine, so add it gradually.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface until it’s smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it’s very thin, about 1/16 inch thick.
- Use a round cookie cutter or a glass to cut out circles from the dough, approximately 4-5 inches in diameter.
- Wrap each dough circle around a cannoli tube, sealing the edges with a dab of water.
- Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or large, deep skillet to 350°F (175°C).
- Carefully place the cannoli, seam-side down, into the hot oil and fry until they are golden brown and crispy, about 2-4 minutes.
- Using tongs, remove the cannoli from the oil and place them on paper towels to drain and cool. Let them cool before removing them from the tubes.
Making the Cannoli Filling:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the drained ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
- Gently fold in the mini chocolate chips and candied orange peel (if using).
Assembling the Cannoli:
- Using a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off, fill each cannoli shell with the ricotta mixture. Start from one end and fill towards the other, ensuring the filling is evenly distributed.
- Optionally, dust the filled cannoli with powdered sugar and garnish with additional chocolate chips.
- Serve your homemade cannoli immediately and enjoy!
Cannoli are best enjoyed fresh, as the shells may become slightly less crisp over time due to the moisture from the filling. Enjoy your homemade Italian cannoli!