La dolce vita – Cannoli!

Ok. Who doesn’t love cannoli? Crispy goodness filled with sweet (but not too sweet) awesomeness. But sometimes (or most times) when you buy them in a bakery or a store the crispiness has faded into sogginess and the filling is overly sweet and they don’t have the flavor you want…

So? Make them at home!! Keep the crispy texture because you can fry them to order, or fry them and fill them later, or you can freeze extra dough and have cannoli whenever you have a hankering for it. And as for the filling? There is nothing like your own fresh filling.

Also! It’s the perfect way to end a four course Holiday Italiano meal…They’re not too heavy and people can choose how many they would like to have. Perfetto, no?

Read on for the recipe and photos…

Cannoli Shell Ingredients

Makes 22 to 24 4″ cannoli (and a LOT of 3″ cannoli…)

2 cups flour

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp vegetable or olive oil

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine (or any other red or white wine)

1 egg white

Frying oil (a LOT!)


  • Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Stir in the oil, vinegar, and enough wine to make a soft dough (I think we needed more than 1/2 cup wine).
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest in the fridge at least 2 hours.
  • Cut the dough into two pieces. Keep the remaining dough covered while you work.
  • Use a pasta machine to roll your dough very thin (we rolled it to the 3 setting and it was perfect).
  • Cut out 3 – 5″ circles. Oil the outside of your cannoli forms and roll a circle around the form.
  • Dab egg white on the edge of the circle where they’ll overlap and press well (really well – they unfold in the oil otherwise!) to seal. Let the egg white dry a bit before frying.

  • In a deep heavy saucepan, heat 3″ worth of oil to 355F. Have a paper towel lined tray nearby.
  • Carefully lower a few cannoli forms at a time into the oil. Fry until golden (about 30 seconds to 1 minute), turning to brown evenly.

  • Lift cannoli tube with a skimmer or tongs. Push the shells off of the cannoli forms (be gentle, now). You really need to do this when they’re hot or you’ll never get them to come off whole.
  • Let the forms cool for a while before reusing them. Let the shells cool completely on paper towels.

Cannoli Filling

30 oz. ricotta

4 oz. mascarpone

1 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau

3 tbsp of confectioners sugar (I thought it need about a teaspoon more…but it’s up to your taste!)

Zest of 1 orange

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

  • Mix all ingredients thoroughly and chill until ready to use.
  • Fill a pastry bag and fill cannoli shells right before serving.

Don’t be afraid to have more than one…..

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