Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'll bring the cannoli

 I'm sharing a small dessert table I put together for cannoli I made for a dinner party we attended this past Saturday evening. I hope you enjoy the visit!

Our friends decided on an Italian menu, which included Pepper, Sausage and Meatball rolls, Caponata appetizer, Cheese plate, Homemade Fettucine/Bolonaise Sauce, Meatballs, Sausage, Braciola, Dessert, Black Coffee and Cordials. I chose to make cannoli. Who can resist a cannoli! The hostess' mother and sister made Pizelle and "Pusties", officially called pasticciotti, an Italian custard-filled tart. Espresso and cordials were served with dessert. We did not leave hungry ;o)


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 delictate 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 used some 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 so I just made the filling this time. I do have the forms, and they work very well but I was short on time. Some prefer to use a pasta maker so the cannoli dough is the correct thickness.

I 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.

I dipped the tips of the cannoli into melted dark chocolate and piped the filling with my favorite gadget from Tupperware. 

Keeping with the Italy theme, I set up my dessert table with a Capodimonte pitcher that my mother purchased from QVC several years ago. When we were teenagers, my mom was a Capodimonte "collector". She always ordered it from QVC, and had a beautiful display in our home. However, she tired of it, so it has a new home. I was in a pink mood, so I brought out the pink depression glass plates in the Adam pattern made by the Jeannette Glass Company from 1932 to 1934. 

The vintage tablecloth was passed along to me when my mother and husband were clearing the contents from a relative's home in order to sell the home.  The buffet in the home was filled with vintage table linens, and I am like a kid looking through the plastic bin that I keep them in ;o)  The cloths are square which don't fit my dining room table, so I plan to use them for garden parties.

A close up shot of the beautiful cloth. I love the subtle sheen in the grid pattern.

I am joining Susan at BNOTP for Tablescape Thursday,
and Foodie Friday with Gollum.

Thank you for your visit!  I love reading your comments. 


Debbie@Mountain Breaths
Debbie@Mountain Breaths

Hello, I'm Debbie.I enjoy hiking, kayaking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the Adirondack Mountains (thus Mountain Breaths). I live in Upstate NY with my supportive husband and have three precious sons..


  1. Hi Debbie...

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. I haven't been to The Old Wicker Mill in a few years. I also haven't been to Tuesday Morning there either. I keep forgetting it's there!

    I love your dessert set up. How brave that you make cannoli! I am a pustie fan and we go to the Florentine. Your dinner sounds wonderful! Your pink plates are beautiful as is your capodimante. The table cloth is charming,especially that it has been in your family!

    Stay warm!!!!


  2. The cannoli looks superb and scrumptious. Wonderful setting - love the vintage cloth and the 'Capodimante'. Bet you had a howling good time at the party!!

    Am going to try the pre-made and make my own filling with mascarpone as soon as possible.

  3. I can't help but smile reading this post :) I love the pitcher and lovely vintage cloth and beautiful vintage plates. I love the history and learning more about your stash of dishes, Debbie!

  4. Smiling here, too :) I love cannoli, yours look fantastic, Debbie! I am sure no one was able to resist them or am I barking up the wrong tree?!

  5. Oh Debbie, the capodimante pitcher is amazing. As is the table topper. Your cannoli are so wonderful. I can just taste the their lusciousness. I love the pink plates too. It's all so charming and lovely. Loved the comment you left! Pets!!! Last night Regan thought he wanted lasagna.

  6. They look fabulous, Debbie! And the table looks so pretty! I love the dishes and the cloth. And I got the joke.

  7. Those Depression dishes go so nicely with the vintage tablecloth. The pitcher is beautiful.
    The cannoli looks yummmmmmy!

  8. I'm thinking I need your cannoli recipe for my column, Debbie! They look sooo delicious, and I am sooo hungry--danger!

  9. Love your pink depression glass! They are beautiful!

    The cannoli looks wonderful! Yum!!!

  10. Debbie, I'm so happy Kathleen sent you over to HFTS. Now I've found you! I think we might be kindred spirits. I've not had a chance to visit more of your posts, but I see your sidebar if full of goodies. As soon as I hit publish, I'm off to see more of Mountain Breaths. Your cannoli looks delicious and lovely served on those sweet plates. As far square cloths- I like to layer them over other table cloths. Sounds like you have a treasure trove. ~ Sarah

  11. I love these dessert plates -- is that a bee on them? I just love them and would feel like Fancy Nancy using them. You are lucky to have an Italian grocery story nearby. The cannoli looks so wonderful! Joni

  12. Very pretty pink glass. Is it depression glass? Just lovely and so delicate, so perfect for your cannolis.

  13. Your pink depression glass dishes are so pretty and the Cannoli - which I have never had - looks delicious. Have a great day!

  14. Debbie,
    What a wonderful blog. Your cannoli look delicious and your table is perfect. I like the vintage table cloths and depression glass too.


  15. This is so lovely! The cannoli looks positively scrumptious! Love your pretty pinks too!

  16. What a delightful post!! First of all, you had me with those beautiful gorgeous dishes and sweet little tablecloth. Then I scroll on down to the cannoli! Oh my those are so pretty and I just know they are very delicious!

    Great post!

  17. We make a lot of Italian food and I've long wanted to make cannoli, but I really didn't want to make the shells. I have seen the pre-made shells that you have pictured at area Italian markets, but always hesitated to get them. Now I think I will. Thanks for the encouragement, and for sharing your beautiful dessert table!

  18. The cannolis look delcious. I haven't ever had one but what's not to like! I love your table cloth. I have a weakness for old linens. And the pink depression glass...I'm always on the lookout for some at the thrift store but haven't gotten lucky. This would have been a good Flashback Friday post :-)

  19. Your Jeanette 'Adams' plates are perfect on your vintage cloth...both true treasures. Are family things always the best! This looks like a marvelous fete. Thank you for sharing your design and the recipe. Cherry Kay

  20. These are some delicious looking cannolis! I love the way you decorate them. Your table setting is just as beautiful! :)

  21. My mouth is watering! I'm originally from Astoria-Queens and grew up in an Irish and Italian neighborhood and so cannolies were part of my favorite foods...Oh! yours look sooo yumy.
    I love your plates and the Capodimonte pitcher, I have a few small things of it, you were lucky your mom handed it down to you. Thanks for sharing.


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