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Cannoli Cones are a fun twist on the classic Italian dessert recipe! Smooth, rich cannoli filling is paired with a sweet, delicate pizzelle cookie.
This recipe is deliciously authentic and makes cannoli quicker and easier to prepare than ever.
Buon giorno everyone! I'm back with another Italian dessert! Today we're talking about one of my absolute faves, Cannoli.
What are Cannoli?
Cannoli are pastries which originate back to the Sicily region of Italy. Traditional, classic cannoli are made from sheets of pasta dough that are fried into a tube shape and then filled with a sweetened ricotta mixture.
My issue with regular cannoli....
I don't normally order Cannoli at restaurants. Why? It's the shell. The one thing I really don't love about cannoli is the fact that the shell is usually...
C) Pre-filled (=sad & soggy)
Not saying there aren't good shells out there, of course there are! However, I think this is also where a lot of restaurants and bakeries get it wrong.
After giving it some thought, I decided if I feel this way about cannoli, others must too. There must be a way to enjoy all the pleasures of cannoli without that thick, heavy, deep-fried shell.
Enter, Cannoli Cones
I took a lovely, sweet, vanilla infused Pizzelle cookie, formed it into a cone and made a new happy home for all that sweet & delicious cannoli filling. And, whoa. These were an absolute home run.
Let me tell you, cannoli filling tastes SO much better with a delicately, crisp cookie!! Plus, there is NO FRYING REQUIRED. I'm all for making less of a mess in the kitchen (I'm messy enough 😉 )
I do have to say, even if you don't feel like going through the process of making pizzelle into cones, you can totally use the recipe for the filling as a cannoli dip. My cannoli filling recipe here is divine.
Read more about ways to use the cannoli filling below!
What is Cannoli Filling?
Cannoli filling is a mixture of sweetened ricotta cheese & usually some warm spices, chocolate, and/or citrus. My recipe leaves out the citrus and focuses on the chocolate, because...chocolate.
The filling should always be smooth and creamy. It should also be thick but light & airy. It doesn't take many ingredients to make, so getting the filling juuust right is easy to achieve if you take your time to properly care for each ingredient.
My cannoli filling recipe is made with a rich combination of ricotta cheese and whipped cream. I chopped up the chocolate into fine shreds so that the texture stayed smooth and is more stracciatella-like.
See how fluffy it is?
I started this recipe with high quality ricotta cheese. I try to buy the best, most fresh ricotta I can find because it is the main ingredient. Preferably, I look for premium ricotta. It is less liquidy and has a rich creamy, flavor. I'm a big fan of Biazzo (not sponsored). Plus, it comes in a cute, tin bucket.
If you live near an Italian specialty store, or even a cheese shop, check to see if they have it. Otherwise, look in the specialty cheese section of your local grocery store. Sometimes, they have small batch ricotta or other brands. If you can't find that, good old regular, full fat ricotta cheese will do!!
How to prepare & store cannoli cones
Cannoli are very easy to make ahead and store. All you have to do is, keep the shells separate from the filling until you're ready to serve. You can make the cookies a day ahead and store in an air-tight container to ensure they stay crisp. Then, you can make the filling a few hours a head of time and store in the fridge. Right when you're about to serve, fill a piping bag with a large star tip and pipe the filling into the cookies. DONE!
If you're short on time and can't make Pizzelle Cones...
Here are some more ideas to use your Cannoli Filling:
- Make the cannoli filling and use it as a dip
- Break up store bought Pizzelle cookies or waffle cones to dip with.
- Sandwich two Pizzelle cookies with a spread of Nutella and a spoonful of this dip. I tried this, it was mind-blowing.
- Use the filling for cakes.
- Use the filling for an icebox cake.
- Scoop a spoonful in a bowl and pair with fresh, sliced strawberries or raspberries.
For the Pizzelle Cookies
- ½ c unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ c granulated sugar
- ⅜ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ c all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ c dark chocolate chips (for dipping) (optional)
For the Cannoli Filling
- 2 c premium or full fat ricotta cheese
- 1 c heavy whipping cream
- 1 ½ c powdered sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- dash salt
- ¼ c dark chocolate chips, chopped into fine pieces
For the Pizzelle Cookies
- Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla until well combined.
- Stir in the flour and baking powder, mixing until smooth.
- Lastly, add the cooled, melted butter, again mixing until smooth; the batter will be thick and sticky, and get even more stiff as it it sits.
- Heat your pizzelle iron. Once it's ready to go, you can give it a quick spritz of nonstick canola oil spray or you can use a silicone basting brush to oil it up.
- Using a cookie scoop, put about 1-2tbsp of batter (depending on the size of your iron, you may have to experiment!) onto each pizzelle pattern. Cook the pizzelle according to the instructions that came with your iron. Usually, they take about 2 minutes to turn a darker golden-brown. I take mine out at the first sign of golden brown which keeps them soft but still crisp enough.
- Once finished baking, use a fork to gently lift the pizzelle out of the iron. Wrap the hot cookie around the cone form. Set it down on a baking rack (seam side down) and allow to cool (2 minutes).
- You can go start making the next batch of cookies. Right before they're done, remove the cones from the cooled cookies and use for your next batch. Allow all cookies to cool completely.
- If dipping the edges in chocolate, microwave the chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave, stirring at 10 second intervals until smooth. Dip the edges of the cones in chocolate and allow to cool.
For the Cannoli Filling
- Pour the heavy cream into a large bowl and beat on high with a hand mixer until whipped cream forms (about 5 minutes). Set aside.
- In a seperate large bowl, add the ricotta cheese. Using a large spoon or spatula, stir the cheese until it is nice and smooth, for about 1 minute or so. Usually when you take it out of the container it is stiff, so we just want to soften it.
- To the cheese, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix well.
- When the sugar if fully incorporated, gently fold in the whipped cream until fully mixed.
- Lastly, fold in the chopped chocolate chips.
- Cover the bow with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Right before serving, fill a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip with the mixture. Pipe the cannoli cream into the shell. Dust with extra chocolate if desired.
Pizzelle Recipe from: King Arthur Flour
Cannoli Cream Recipe by Owlbbaking.com