• Barth Bakery

Homemade Italian Cannolis

Updated: May 5

These made-from-scratch cannolis taste just as good (if not better!) as cannolis bought from an Italian bakery. With crispy, flaky fried shells that are stuffed with a creamy, sweetened ricotta filling, this delectable dessert is the perfect combination of crispy and creamy. Some patience is required, but the delicious end result makes it well worth the effort.







Ingredients

Plain Cannoli Shells

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar

  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable shortening

  • 2 large egg yolks, slightly beaten

  • ¾ cup Marsala wine

  • 1 egg white, beaten, to seal the edges

Chocolate Cannoli Shells

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar

  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

  • ⅛ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable shortening

  • 2 large egg yolks, slightly beaten

  • ⅔ cup Marsala wine

  • 1 egg white, beaten, to seal the edges

Plain Cannoli Filling

  • 15 oz whole milk ricotta, well drained

  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus additional for dusting

  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Cannoli Filling

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  • 15 oz whole milk ricotta, well drained

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus additional for dusting

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 6 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ⅛ cup heavy whipping cream

  • ¼ cup dark or bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly


Directions

Cannoli Shells

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon (and cocoa powder if you’re making chocolate shells). Add in the shortening and egg yolks and mix until incorporated and the mixture is crumbly. Slowly add in the wine, mixing on low speed until a smooth dough forms, about 8 minutes.

  2. Once the dough is smooth, remove it from the bowl and shape into a disk with your hands. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

  3. Once chilled, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten. Put the dough through a pasta machine to roll the dough out to as thin as it will go without tearing. (All pasta machines are different, but I rolled mine through each setting down to the lowest, thinnest setting possible, which was number 1 on my machine.) You want the dough to be incredibly thin so it blisters when fried. The dough should be about 1/16-inch thick.

  4. Use a 4-inch round cutter to cut circles out of the dough. Roll each dough circle around each metal cannoli tube and dab a little egg white with your fingers on the dough where the edges overlap and press together to seal. (Don’t wrap the tubes too tight or you will have a hard time removing the shell after frying.)

  5. In a wide heavy-bottomed pot, pour in enough oil so the oil is about 3 inches deep. Heat the oil over medium heat until the temperature registers 350°F. Carefully lower 2-3 cannoli tubes into the hot oil at a time. Fry in batches and do not crowd the pan. Fry the shells until they are golden brown, turning occasionally so they brown evenly. Lift the cannoli tubes with a large slotted spoon or tongs out of the oil and place on a wire rack set on top of a baking sheet so the cannolis can drain. Carefully pull the cannoli tubes out to remove the shells. Repeat with the remaining tubes.

Plain Cannoli Filling

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta, mascarpone, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until well combined and smooth. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Chocolate Cannoli Filling

  1. Place the chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high at 30 second intervals, stirring well after each interval, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

  2. Dip both ends of the cannoli shells into the chocolate to coat the rim of the shells. Allow the excess to drip off and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Place in the refrigerator until firm.

  3. In a small bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes.

  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and cocoa powder until smooth and creamy.

  5. Fold in the whipped cream and melted chocolate. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cannoli Assembly

  1. Spoon the cannoli filling into a pastry bag fitted with a wide star or round tip. Carefully insert the tip halfway into one shell and pipe in the cream, pulling the tip out to fill all the way to the end. Insert the tip into the other side and do the same thing to fill the shell from end to end. Repeat with the remaining shells.

  2. Decorate the ends with desired toppings, dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve immediately.


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