I love a cup of seriously strong coffee and a cannoli from an Italian bakery on Bleeker Street in Manhattan. When I am making these at home, I am holding them up to the standard of those memories. The dessert really comes together in two parts: make the shell, thin and crispy and then make a filling with serious flavor.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 3 tbsp of softened butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup sweet Marsala wine
- shortening, for frying
- 4 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup finely chopped maraschino cherry
- 1/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
- powdered sugar, maraschino cherries and/or chocolate chips, if desired
- Mix all “shell ingredients” except for the Marsala in a bowl with a pastry cutter until it is crumbly. The butter and egg yolks should be thoroughly mixed.
- Next, add in the wine 1 oz at a time,until you are able to mix it with your hands.
- Form mixture into a ball and let sit uncovered for about 30 minutes.
- If you don’t have metal cannoli tubes, create your own while you wait for the dough to be ready. For each tube you make, you’ll need a 12×12 inch sheet of aluminum foil. Fold the sheet in half, then wrap it tightly around a dowel that’s about 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Allow the foil to overlap on the dowel about 3 times to strengthen it. Then slide it off the dowel to make a few more. That’s it!
- Once dough is ready, roll it out so it’s almost paper thin, on a well-floured surface. Then, using the rim of a margarita glass (about 3-4 inches across), make circle imprints into rolled dough. With a paring knife, make sure circles are cut all the way through.
- Roll each circle of dough around a cannoli tube, overlapping the ends and pressing to seal, flaring out the edges slightly.
- Fry one or two at a time in hot melted shortening (about 360∞F) for approximately 1 minute, turning to brown all sides. Remove from hot grease and drain on paper towels, seam side down.Let cool a minute or two before trying to remove metal tube.
- To remove the metal tube, hold cannoli shell down on the paper towel and carefully slide the tube out one end.Leave cannoil shells on paper towel, seam side down to cool completely.
- Next, make the filling!Combine ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Before adding inMaraschino cherries, squeeze them with paper towels to remove all liquid. Otherwise your filling will turn pink and watery! When ready, add cherries and chocolate chips to the mixture– be sure not to over mix.
- Allow filling to chill for 30 minutes. Then pipe into cooled cannoli shells. Garnish with powdered sugar, chocolate chips and/or Maraschino cherries to your taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Recipe credit: 12 tomatoes