CNYEats A Taste of Utica Cannoli Shells and Filling

by Joanne on October 21, 2012

If you live in upstate New York you know all about Cannoli.  That wonderful dessert in a crisp, delicate shell that houses a creamy, rich filling of ricotta sweetened cheese.  The only thing better than a cannoli from your favorite bakery or restaurant is one you made at home. 

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The cannoli shell is typically fried.  I don’t enjoy frying because it’s messy.  I love baking and cooking but I don’t love clean up.  If there is a way to avoid it, I’ll take it.  Creativity was put to work when I decided to make the cannoli but there was no way I was going to fry the shells and mess up my just cleaned and scoured stove top.  

I baked the shells.  If you bake the shells, preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.

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Another minor detail in this recipe is that you need cannoli tubes to form the shells.  I don’t own cannoli tubes so I made my own out of aluminum foil.

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Now I’m sure you’re saying to yourself “Wow! Who knew Cannoli’s could be so easy.  If Joanne can do it, I sure as all get out can!”.  If not, you will after reading through this recipe.  Get ready to take note of the ingredients and make these crowd pleasers for your next party, your next celebration, or just for yourself.

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The Cannoli Shell  *Makes 24 Recipe by Chris

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  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 TBS white vinegar
  • 1 TBS water
  • 1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
  • vegetable oil if you are going to fry, if not, you need just a little canola oil to brush the tops of the shells when baking.

Sift the flour, salt, and sugar together.  Cut in the butter and mix up until course but evenly distributed.  Make a well in the middle and add the 2 eggs, vinegar and water, blend them together then incorporate into the flour mixture until smooth. 

Turn dough onto a floured board.  Divide into 24 equal sized pieces. Roll out into 5” circles.

If you don’t have cannoli tubes, tear 24 pieces of aluminum foil, about 4” wide x 8” long each. Wrap each foil strip around two fingers, your index and middle finger to form a tube.  You can adjust the tube width with a slight squeeze should some of your dough circles be too small.

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Wrap each dough circle around the cannoli tubes and seal dough closed with beaten egg yolk..

*If frying:   Heat oil in heavy sauce pan to 375 F. Fry but do NOT remove tubes when frying, turn occasionally, until brown, about 3 1/5 minutes. Remove from oil and set on a clean paper towel to drain.  Cool slightly before removing from tube.  When completely cool, fill the shell with filling.

**If baking:  Place the cannoli forms onto a lined baking sheet, brush lightly with canola oil then place in a preheated 400 F oven.  Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly brown.  Allow to cool until you can handle them but still slightly warm and remove the tube.  *If using aluminum foil, gently squeeze the foil smaller than the baked tube and carefully slide out of cooked shell.

Cannoli Filling – to fill 24 shells  Recipe by Toni (Leone) Guzski

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  • 1 lb ricotta cheese
  • 2 TBS of rum *I usually use vanilla or grated orange zest.
  • 3 TBS confectionary sugar (more to taste if needed)
  • grated chocolate bar *I usually add mini chocolate chips

Cream ricotta and run until smooth.   Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Stir in the chocolate, blend well. Fill cannoli shells. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or decorate as desired.  Serve chilled. Keep refrigerated.

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Nothing beats a cannoli.

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  • At 2012.10.21 18:59, Pam said:

    Wow these look great Joanne, reminds me of home 🙂

    • At 2012.10.22 04:58, CCU said:

      I think I will never eat dessert again unless it looks like this 😉

      Choc Chip Uru

      • At 2012.10.22 10:31, Steph @ StephSnacks said:

        Wow these look amazing! Maybe I will try them out for a Christmas recipe 🙂

        • At 2012.10.22 11:45, Ali @ Peaches and Football said:

          They had cannolis at a restaurant I was at last week and I really wanted to try one but was too full. These would be a riot to make at home and they look so fancy too!

          • At 2012.10.23 17:28, claudia @whats cookin italian cuisine said:

            what a brilliant idea to use foil and then bake so much more heathier than fried bet these were a huge hit! I make the same thing in a cupcake tin! Great minds think alike, never thought to keep them in their original shape like this… love it!~

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