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Monday, December 14, 2009

Celebrate Christmas with Italian Cannolis!

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Servings: 12

Prep time: 1 hr.

Cook time: none

Total time: 1hr


1 15-ounce carton ricotta cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, grated
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon shortening
12 to 14 purchased cannoli shells
3/4 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts
1 cup whipping cream


1. For filling, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until almost smooth. Stir in 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate. Cover and chill up to 6 hours.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat and stir 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate and the shortening over low heat until melted. Remove from heat. Transfer to a small bowl.
Dip both ends of the cannoli shells in chocolate, letting excess drip off. Sprinkle chocolate ends with pistachio nuts.
Place on a wire rack placed over waxed paper to dry (about 45 minutes).

3. When chocolate is dry, in a medium bowl, beat whipping cream at medium speed of an electric mixer or with a wire whisk until stiff peaks form. Fold into the ricotta mixture. Spoon filling into a decorating bag fitted with a large round or open star tip (or spoon into a resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Snip off a small corner of the bag). Pipe filling into shells. Cover and chill up to 2 hours. Makes 12 servings.

4. Chocolate Cannoli: Prepare Cannoli as directed, except stir 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in with the ricotta cheese.

Note: I wish I were anorexic. So thin my bones made audible clackings when I moved so I could be put on a Cannoli diet to gain weight. If there is a drop of Italian blood in your veins, you will know what these are. They are AMAZING. They are SEDUCTIVE. They are SMOOTH WITH A CRUNCH. You can add a little rum. Or maybe Creme De Mint. We Italians love them - they are synonymous with being happy, having friends and family around and being gluttonous. Works for me.

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