Homemade Cannoli


  • Cannoli mold
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese, preferably whole milk, drained
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup small semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 quart canola oil, for frying
  • Flour, for rolling
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Cooking Instructions

Step 1: For the Shell Dough: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, and salt.  Work the butter pieces into the flour with your fingers until the mixture becomes coarse and sandy.  Add the egg yolk and the white wine and mix until it becomes a smooth dough.  Spread a piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface and place the dough in the center.  Wrap the plastic loosely around it and press the dough to fill the gap.  Flattening the dough will mean less rolling later.  Let it rest in the refrigerator for a few minutes while you make the filling.

Step 2: For the Filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the drained ricotta until smooth.  Sift in the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and allspice.  Mix to blend.  In a separate bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), beat the heavy cream until fairly stiff.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the cream into the ricotta mixture.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Lightly zest the lemon and stir it into the ricotta.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.

Step 3: To Roll and Fry the Shells: In a medium pot with a heavy bottom, heat the canola oil to 360 degrees F.  Meanwhile, sift an even layer of flour onto a flat surface.  Flour a rolling pin.  Roll the dough until it is very thin (about 1/8-inch thick).  Cut the dough into fourths and work in small batches.  Use any glass or small bowl that has a 3-to-4-inch diameter.  Cut rounds, tracing around each one to assure the dough has been fully cut.  You should have 24 circles.  Wrap each circle around a cannoli mold.  Use a little of the egg wash on the edge of each round to seal it shut and to assure it won’t slide or fall off the mold before pressing it closed.  Flare the edges out slightly from the mold.  Flaring will allow the oil to penetrate each cannoli shell as they fry.  Use a pair of tongs to hold the edge of the mold as you submerge and fry the shell in the oil until crispy, 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove from the oil, and holding the mold in one hand with your tongs, gently grip the shell in your other hand with a kitchen towel and carefully slide it off the mold.  Set aside to cool.  Repeat with all the circles.

Step 4: To Fill the Cannoli: Just before serving, use a pastry bag without a tip to pipe the ricotta into the shells.  Fill the cannoli shells from both ends so the cream runs through the whole shell.  Dust with powdered sugar.  Serve immediately.

Notes: If the ricotta has an excess of liquid, drain it over a strainer for at least 30 minutes before making the filling.  Don’t fill the shells with the cream until you are ready to eat them.

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