Cannoli, also spelled as “cannolo,” is a traditional Italian pastry that consists of a crisp, fried shell filled with a sweet and creamy ricotta cheese filling. It is a beloved dessert that originated in Sicily and has gained popularity worldwide.
To make cannoli, you start by making the dough for the shell. The dough is typically made with flour, sugar, salt, butter, and sometimes a splash of white wine or vinegar for added flavor and texture. The dough is rolled out thin and then cut into small circles or ovals.
The dough circles are then wrapped around metal or wooden cannoli tubes and deep-fried until golden and crispy. Once the shells are cooled, they are carefully removed from the tubes, leaving behind a hollow center ready to be filled.
The filling for cannoli is traditionally made with ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and sometimes a hint of cinnamon or citrus zest for extra flavor. The ricotta cheese is whipped together with the sugar and flavorings until smooth and creamy.
To assemble the cannoli, the ricotta filling is piped into the hollow shells using a pastry bag or a spoon. The ends of the cannoli can be dipped in chopped pistachios, chocolate chips, or candied fruit for added texture and decoration.
Cannoli are typically served chilled, allowing the flavors to meld together and the filling to firm up slightly. They are often dusted with powdered sugar just before serving to add a touch of sweetness and visual appeal.
Cannoli are a delightful treat with a perfect balance of textures and flavors. The crispy shell provides a satisfying crunch, while the creamy ricotta filling offers a rich and slightly sweet taste. Whether enjoyed as a dessert or a special treat, cannoli is a classic Italian pastry that is sure to please any palate.