Did you hear about the Italian chef who died? He pasta way! Doctors cannoli do so much!
Lol, sorry for the dad jokes I’m just SUPER excited for this recipe.
Some of you may know before I was introduced to Sascha’s I was teaching kids cooking lessons at Williams Sonoma. Once I jumped full swing into wedding season that once a weekend gig ended REAL fast. I missed it though, there’s nothing more fun teaching people how to cook especially little ones.
When my office buddy mentioned an opportunity to give private lessons to a friend’s son I jumped right on it. Throughout the past year you may have seen sneak peaks into my lessons on social media, but now it’s time to introduce Ty to the blog.
I call our lessons Cooking with Ty and in this class, under his special request, we ended it with homemade cannoli.
Ty loves baking and we all know how I have the baker’s green thumb, so when I received his email asking to make homemade cannoli I may or may not have broke a sweat. Ty, if you’re reading this don’t judge me. Luckily it was just before the snowstorm and I had all weekend to be stuck inside to practice making cannoli from scratch. To my surprise, it was the most easiest and fun kitchen project I’ve ever done and I think Ty would have to agree. Let’s break it down.
The dough for the shells is super simple and comes together in minutes. I used this recipe from The 350 Degree Oven. All you do is stick your dry ingredients in a food processor, and with that running, pour in Marsala wine until a ball of dough forms. The Marsala wine is the recipe and I would not recommend substituting! The dough get thrown in a bowl and sits at room temperature for an hour or two.
The recipe requires the dough to be cut in half, rolled out, then cut with a 3-4″ cookie cutter. If you’re like me and do not own a cookie cutter, just use the bottom of a glass or coffee mug!
Once the circles are cut out, I give it one more roll with the rolling pin and wrap it around my cannoli molds. These molds are essential when making these and you can find them in any specialty cook store or Amazon!
You do need to fry the shells but you don’t need a deep fryer. Just fill some canola oil up a skillet or Dutch oven about 2″ deep, heat to medium-high (350 degrees), and fry away! I recommend using tongs to dunk the shells in the oil, and I also recommend placing the shells seal-side down.
You can use your tongs to hold the shells in place but I didn’t feel the need to. In my whole batch I had two shells that broke away from the mold which I ended eating like chips so I didn’t mind. I’ll give tips in the recipe to avoid this! The next step:
Although the cannoli cream comes together in seconds, it does require a little prep. You want to use whole milk ricotta and allow it to strain for a few hours or even overnight! I added chocolate chips to my cream, but you can do WHATEVER you want to flavor it. Grand Marnier, creme de menth, or even some orange zest would be delicious!
As you can see between the cannoli molds, letting the dough rest, and the ricotta, this recipe does take some prep and patience. Once it all comes together it is SO worth it.
I think Ty could agree this is our favorite part. Once the shells have cooled and you’re ready to serve, grab a ziplock bag, fill it with cream, and start filling your shells.
Annnndd just like that you just made some cannoli FROM SCRATCH. So, grab a friend, loved one, or your child and have a little fun in the kitchen. Creamy, crunchy, chocolaty, cannoli make people smile. Enjoy!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 3/4 cup Marsala wine
- 1 egg white to seal edges
- canola oil for frying
- 15 oz. whole milk ricotta
- 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
- 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- Add the flour, cinnamon, sugar, salt, and shortening to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until the shortening is well incorporated.
- With the processor running, slowly pour the wine into the "chute" or tube of the processor until the dough forms into the shape of a ball. The ball will spin around the bowl and the processor will make all sorts of crazy noises. It's ready!
- Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and rest at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
- While the dough is resting, transfer the ricotta to a strainer lined with a paper towel. Set over a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to strain in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
- Turn the dough on a floured surface and cut in half. Cover one half with plastic wrap. The other half, use a rolling pin to roll very thin, rotating and flipping the dough to ensure it does not stick to the surface.
- Use a 3-4" cookie cutter or bottom of a glass to cut out circles. Form a circle over a cannoli mold, using egg white to seal the edge.
- *If the dough is pulling away from the mold, give it a gentle roll with the rolling pin to make it thinner/bigger to shape over the mold.
- Once you have a few molds ready, add enough oil to cover 2" of a skillet or heavy bottom pot (like a Dutch oven). Heat to medium high heat (350 degrees). Once hot, use a tong to transfer the cannoli to the oil seal-side down. You want this part to crisp first to maintain its shape.
- Fry 1-2 minutes on each side, rotating with a tong, until golden brown. Bubbles will start to form on the shells which is what you want.
- Transfer to a paper-towel lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.
- Once the shells are cooked and cooled, make the filling. Add the ricotta to a large bowl and whisk a few times to break up any lumps. Add the mascarpone, vanilla, powdered sugar, and cinnamon. Mix with a spatula until combined. Fold in chocolate chips or any other desired flavoring.
- Once ready to serve, add the cream to a pastry bag or ziplock bag. Snip off the end and fill shells. I wouldn't do this too far in advanced as you do not want your shells to become soggy.
- Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Enjoy!
- Form over the cannoli mold using the egg white to seal the edges. If the dough is not big enough for the mold, give it one more roll with the rolling pin.
- If a few cannoli come loose from the mold in the oil, it's ok! After one or two, you'll know whether you have to roll the circles a little bigger, or keep the tong in the oil to hold down the mold.
- Store the cannoli shells in a paper towel lined container at room temperature and keep the cannoli cream in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.