Holy cannoli

22 Apr

Dessert. Just the word conjures up images of giant New York diner-style cakes (proudly on display in a spinning glass case), mousse, ice cream, cookies…basically anything made with a lot of sugar and cream. But for me, there’s one dessert that outwits and outlasts all others. It is the ultimate  combination of crunchy, sweet, sugary and chocolate. It is–the cannoli.

In case you don’t know what a cannoli is, I’ll explain. It’s an Italian dessert with a crispy cone or horn-shaped shell and a filling comprised of a sweetened ricotta cheese,  mixed with candied orange zest or citron, chopped pistachios, grated chocolate, or drizzled with a variety of extracts or flavorings such a fortified wine and liqueurs. The ends may be decorated with what the filling has to give color and texture, such as dipping the ends in chopped pistachios if pistachios were used for the filling. The filling may also be left plain and the ends used for decoration. While a sweetened ricotta is traditionally used, any mousse may be used, like dark or white chocolate or a fresh berry, or a simple sweetened whipped cream filling may be used (definition courtesy of www.pastrysampler.com). Here’s what one looks like:

Photo from sociallady.wordpress.com

Cannolis can range in size from small, finger-sized to very large. Guess which one I prefer? And for the record, my favorite is the standard, traditional cannoli but with chocolate chips mixed into the filling. Yum (and please excuse me for a second while I wipe the drool from my mouth).

Cannolis are a blessing from some divine bakery in the sky. They are one of the few foods I will not make at home. They are one of the few foods that I feel should not ever be made in a healthy version (for the record, buttercream icing, cheesecakes and peanut butter cups are the other foods). They are so delicious, in fact, that I will only eat them about 3-4 times a year; the break gives me a chance to look forward to the next one (kind of like Pretzel Day). And it just so happens that this Saturday is one of those times. Yay for anniversaries!

Cannoli filling (adapted from www.allrecipes.com)


  • 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Directions:

    1. In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese and confectioners’ sugar. Fold in the chocolate chips. Chill until cold. Put filling in a pastry bag to fill cannoli shell. 

    3 Responses to “Holy cannoli”

    1. Another Suburban Mom April 25, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

      I LOVE cannoli’s. Seriously if one of my kids and a box of cannoli was on a cliff, I might have to think for a minute about which I grab first. (After all, the kid can walk away)

      Have you ever seen the party cannoli. Its a 2 foot cannoli that comes with a pile of shells so you can fill your own.

      • theemptykitchen April 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

        there is a 2 foot cannoli?! i thought that only existed in my dreams!


    1. Blogs I Like « My Friend Kelly - May 17, 2010

      […] The Empty Kitchen – I’ve been in on this blog since before Day 1. My friend Jana juggles family time, work, a second job and conquering the kitchen. You’ll love her practicality, recipes and lessons from kitchen mishaps.  I did a guest post here and you’ll love her discussions on school lunch, the most disgusting food known to her husband and the best dessert ever. […]

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