The Cannoli Party

The Cannoli Party

I don’t know what’s happening during a global pandemic when I can’t get a bottle of hot sauce on the internet for less than fifteen bucks, but for some reason cannoli tubes have dropped in price.  So, while everyone is baking sourdough ad nauseum, I took advantage of the now more accessible tubes.  I bought some with wild abandon.

Well, I don’t know how wild it was, but it sounded good.  I pictured myself dancing around the living room like no one was watching, clicking away on the internet, and envisioning myself gorging on cannolis.  That’s not what actually happened.  At the end of my trial run, I was exhausted and sick of dealing with them and only ate one.  Ha!  Isn’t that always the way?!

As with all things Italian food, there’s a myriad of ways to make the dough for the shells and the cheese for the filling.  Everyone wants to put their own spin on it when really they should just leave it alone.  I’ll spare the ranting on putting nonessential ingredients in things…like marinara sauce because I’ve already complained about it in the actual marinara post on here…that don’t belong there.  Keep it simple!  Let’s just say that cannoli shells do NOT need filtered sparkling water, mkay?!

Despite my best efforts to keep the oil at a precise temperature, let’s just say that some shells were sacrificed until I hit my groove.  It took a minute, okay?!  It was hard!  I didn’t want to bother with rolling the dough through the pasta roller because…..lazy.  I thought, “Meh.  I can hand roll it no biggie.”  Well it was a biggie because I got poofy shells that took too long to fry, came undone, or got burned.  Cannoli tacos?  Anyone?

Let’s not even discuss the removal of the tubes from the finished shells.  I might be  traumatized.  Luckily, I managed to get the hang of it before I ran out of dough and was able to put several on a plate any home cook would be proud of.  And they were tasty.  So I win.



For The Dough:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sweet marsala wine you can also use amaretto or frangelico
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lard or vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • Peanut oil for frying

For The Filling:

  • 11 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar more or less to your desired taste
  • Mini chocolate chips


  • With the exception of one egg and the peanut oil, throw all the dough ingredients into a food processor starting with all the dry ingredients first.  Add the wet ingredients and eggs one at a time during processing.  Process until a dough ball forms, about 3 minutes or less.  Remove the dough ball and any bits, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill it in the fridge for a few hours.
  • In a heavy saucepan over medium low heat, warm the milk, cream, and salt together.  Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to boil.  Stir frequently to keep the mixture from burning.  As soon as it starts to boil, slowly stir in 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice.  Remove it from the heat and let it rest for a minute or two and then slowly stir it for another minute or two.  Congratulations!  You just made ricotta!
  • Line a colander with cheese cloth or a tea towel and pour the cheesy liquid into it's still hot!  Let the cheese drain for about 20 minutes, scoop it into a container, cover it, and chill it in the fridge.
  • Divide the dough into 4 pieces and run them through a pasta roller to your desired thickness.  You don't want it too thick or too thin.  After each piece is rolled, cut out circles on a floured work surface...I used my largest sized biscuit cutter...and place the rounds layered on wax paper.
  • Heat enough oil to submerge the shells in a heavy sauce pan to about 375 on a thermometer.  In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg and set aside.
  • Wrap a single round of dough around a cannoli tube.  Brush the connecting lip with a little bit of beaten egg to attach it.  Fry until golden brown and set on a cooling rack to cool.  Continue this process, two or three at a time, until all the shells are done.
  • Remove the ricotta from the fridge and whip with the powdered sugar and the remaining lemon juice.  Load the cheese mixture into  a pastry bag or plastic bag for piping into the shells.  Add some mini chocolate chips to a small bowl and set aside.
  • Remove the tubes from the shells by gripping the shell with one hand and, using a dish towel in the other hand, pinch the tube with your fingers and gently twist.
  • Fill the shells with the cheese piping from one end and then the other.  Dip each end in the chocolate chips, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve.
  • TIP:  Store extra shells and cheese filling separately or the filling will make the shells soggy