Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I Cannoli Be Happy With You

My Valentine is known for a few signature food items amongst family, friends and students. Whenever there is a large crowd, he makes cannolis o it was fitting that I give him a cannoli for our anniversary. The cannoli filling is already made, and comes in large pastry bags so all he has to do is pipe the filling into the shells. The photo below is from Xavier's baptism. 
Sharing some history about cannoli - With the Arab introduction of sugar into Sicily in the 9th century, the cooking style of this three sided island changed forever. Ricotta had long been an essential part of the Sicilian cuisine as well as pine nuts and currants. Resourceful Sicilians added the neutral sweetness of sugar to these sample foods, wrapped them in a fried but delicate pastry "tube" and hence the birth of cannoli.

Originally enjoyed by Sicilians only at Carnival time, word spread quickly of their goodness. The wonderful legacy of this Sicilian invention now enjoys worldwide popularity.

There are many, many recipes for cannoli. Some sweet, some not so sweet. For the filling, the traditional ingredients are ricotta cheese, confectioner's sugar, ground cinnamon, finely chopped candied orange or lemon, and finely chopped chocolate. I usually omit the candied citrus and the chocolate. You can top ends of filled cannoli with your choice of decorations if you like. I have used chopped pistachio nuts. If you prefer, you can use Mascarpone instead of ricotta for the filling. When I serve cannoli to children, I use colored sprinkles on the ends. 

I am fortunate enough to live near Italian specialty stores and they stock the shells and filling. I do have the forms, and they work very well but I am usually short on time. Some prefer to use a pasta maker so the cannoli dough is the correct thickness.

I've used Sicilian style hand rolled cannoli shells, and they are excellent. When we were in New York City recently, I sampled cannoli, and these hand rolled shells taste very similar.

For a recent dinner party, I dipped the tips of the cannoli into melted dark chocolate and piped the filling. 

Thank you for your visit! I am joining Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.


  1. Yum to your cannoli and wow to that platter full of them! Love the sound of pistachio nuts in the cannoli. When you both retire, I can see you two spending even more time in the kitchen, working on great recipes. As active as you both are, that should never be a problem.

  2. You have my mouth watering and wishing I had a cannoli for breakfast, they sound like heaven! I doubt I can find the shells around here, but I am certainly going to try! I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

  3. Oh these bring back memories..I bought the molds YRS ago because of you..tried once..once..:)

    Lovely !

  4. I love a good cannoli, Debbie, but I've never made them. Now you have my mouth watering for one! You and Joe sure love and appreciate good food.

  5. Oh how gorgeous is that presentation of cannoli. That wouldn't last long here! I've never made them, I'm so impressed........


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  7. I usually buy the cannoli shells from a bakery shop and then make my own filling as I find most pre made cannoli filling too sweet for me. That is some platter of cannoli you photographed on your dessert table and I bet they were delicious.


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