“Leave the gun, don’t forget the cannoli”. This line has been said a thousand times after first appearing in the film, The Godfather. The character that spoke the line, Pete Clemenza, was advising his cronie after a murder to get rid of the weapon, but not to forget the precious cannoli. So, you might be wondering, what exactly is a cannoli? A cannoli is a beloved sicilian treasure. This dessert is a pastry that has filled the shelves of sicilian bakeries for generations. Consisting of a crisp and crunchy outer exterior and a soft creamy filling, every sicilian mother has their own proprietary cannoli recipe, but the basics remain the same.
Cannoli are generally filled with a sweet cheese filling. This filling has often been flavored by a number of other ingredients and can get as varied as sicilian families themselves. What remains constant is the basic shape of the dish. The hard outer shell is wrapped into a tube like cylinder with a large hollow middle. The filling is then squirted, spooned, or dished into the center of the pastry. The size of your cannoli is up to you, as many bakeries make them in sizes ranging from itty bitty to football sized. Check out our recipe for Cannoli below and give this sweet treat a try yourself!
What You’ll Need
- 4 cups sifted all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons of softened butter
- 2 egg yolks
- ¾ cup white wine
- 4 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup chopped maraschino cherries
- ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
What To Do
- Mix flour, salt, and granulated sugar in a bowl. Add in the butter
- Add egg yolks and stir with a fork
- Stir in the wine, little by little, and continue mixing until it forms a dough
- Form a dough ball and let stand for 30 minutes
- Roll dough paper thin on a clean countertop
- Make circle imprints in your dough using a cup or bowl depending on desired size. Cut your imprints through completely
- Roll each dough circle around a cannoli tube (any open ended cylinder). Dough should meet at the edges. Push together to seal.
- Fry each cylinder in shortening for 1 minute until crispy and golden
- Remove from pan and let dry on paper towels
- Slide your cylinder form out of the hardened dough shell
- Set your cannoli shells aside until filling time
- Drain all excess water from ricotta if needed
- Combine ricotta, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar in a bowl and mix until combined
- Stir in gently maraschino cherries and chocolate chips, carefully, not to over mix
- Chill filling for 30 minutes before filling cannoli shells with filling.