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Tuesday, February 7, 2012


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Cannoli is not something I ever considered making at home. After all, any cannoli craving is an excuse to book a trip to Boston and stuff ourselves with cannoli from Mike's Pastry (if only it were that easy, right?!). However, when a reader (hi Brandon!) recently contacted me inquiring about a cannoli recipe, I couldn't resist bringing a little Mike's to St. Louis!
Although I'm sure freshly fried cannoli shells are delightful, I wasn't up for risking oil burns, nor do I have the proper cannoli-making tools. Thankfully, St. Louis has a wonderful Italian neighborhood full of family-owned restaurants and bakeries. Ryan graciously set out on an adventure one weekend and even showed up late to church that Sunday, all in the name of securing cannoli shells from Missouri Baking Company.
The recipe I used for the cannoli filling is from Giada's Everyday Italian cookbook. She uses it to top fruit salad, but I went the unhealthier route and stuck it in the fried shells :) At first I was concerned that the filling was too thin. In retrospect, I would probably reduce the amount of heavy cream next time to have a thicker filling, more true to form of traditional cannoli. However, the flavor itself was fantastic...good enough to dig in with just a spoon (not that I would know about that...).
I added mini chocolate chips to my filling, but you could easily mix in toffee chips, a little amaretto, sprinkles...whatever your heart desires! The shells looked a little boring and my brilliant friend Paige gave me the idea to make them Valentine's Day themed. Traditionally, cannoli are sprinkled with powdered sugar, but I didn't want to detract from my cute shells!

One Year Ago: Banana Coconut Muffins

adapted from Everyday Italian
*note--this is the recipe, doubled, which is technically for topping fruit salad. Don't add any cream to the ricotta in step 1 if you want a thicker filling! I also found that mine thickened a bit after sitting in the fridge overnight.
*makes enough filling for at least 8-10 large cannoli shells (plus extra for sampling!)

-1 (15 oz) package whole-milk ricotta cheese
-2 tbsp plus 1 cup heavy whipping cream
-1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
-pinch of ground cinnamon
-mini chocolate chips, if desired
-cannoli shells

1. Stir ricotta and 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream in a medium-sized bowl to blend.
2. In a large bowl, beat 1 cup heavy whipping cream with powdered sugar and cinnamon until semi-firm peaks form. Fold the ricotta into the whipped cream.
3. Stir in mini chocolate chips, if using. Refrigerate cream until ready to fill cannoli shells (don't fill until a little before serving or your shells will get soggy!). To fill shells, place filling in a large ziploc bag with the corner cut off or a piping bag. Pipe filling into shells. Chill until serving.