Cannoli makes me smile. Creamy and crunchy; a very distinct flavor of ricotta blended with marscapone and infused with Gran Marnier or Amaretto. Additions of chocolate, almonds or pistachios; their presentation is as delightful as their taste! There are many different fillings to choose from. This is my simple, yet wonderfully tasting filling. Cannoli’s are a make ahead dessert but filling of the shells should be done just and hour or two prior to serving. I will admit the leftovers, if there are any, still taste good to me. The crunchy shell slightly softens from the filling and the combined flavors marry and melt in my mouth.
I do not make the shells. I have contemplated buying the tubes and studied various recipes, but honestly, I buy a few boxes, small and large sizes, online or at my Italian deli. I keep a supply on hand and when a need arises for an impressive, easy dessert, I am ready! That being said, please note I almost always have ricotta cheese and marscapone in my refrigerator 🙂
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta – drain overnight or several hours with a cheesecloth
3/4 cup marscapone cheese
1/4 cup fine sugar
1/2 teaspoon Gran Marnier or Amaretto
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Optional to decorate: melted chocolate, mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, pistachios or almonds finely chopped
Mix all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, at least a few hours. Use a pastry bag or a plastic bag, corner snipped, to squish the filling into each end of the cannoli. Decorate the ends with nuts or chocolate chips. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Note: I added about 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips into my filling mixture for these cannoli.