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May Goal – Cannoli


Apparently I waited too long to attempt my goal for this month.  I really need to start earlier in the month. I have seen people making cannoli many times on tv.  But I have never had one.  So I put it on my list for my goals.  Last week I realized I needed cannoli forms.  They came late in the week and I was so busy I just didn’t get to them. So finally today, I attempted them.  And of course, they didn’t go the way I wanted. 

In the middle of making them, Lucy and our mom stopped by with the kids.  Lucy and mom ran off to the grocery store leaving me with 4 kids and cannoli.  Lucy returned to cannoli not working well.  For some reason they kept filling with air and coming off the forms.  I did get a few that were perfect.  Lucy and I decided to prick the dough before frying it.  That worked better but didn’t have the look of the cannoli I’ve seen online and tv.  They are the shape and the flavor but not the bubbly looking outside.

We all snacked on the ones that didn’t work right and they tasted wonderful even without filling. As I was making filling we realized that it needs to chill for 2 hours. And since Lucy had ice cream in the car, they could not stay to wait for the filling.  So I will be making these again. 

I chose to use the pastry cream filling rather than the ricotta filling because I didn’t have the time nor energy to make ricotta first.  And I didn’t want to pay the outrageous price the store charges for ricotta. So my filling is a little yellow from the farm fresh eggs and a little brown from the cinnamon. 

But after all was said and done.  They tasted amazing!




Cannoli dough

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp shortening
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp white distilled vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • White cooking wine, just a little
  • egg white
  • oil for frying

Cannoli Filling

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


Cannoli dough

  1. Sift together flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. Cut in shortening.
  3. Add eggs and stir.
  4. Add vinegar and water. Stir to combine.
  5. Add a tsp of wine at a time until dough comes together.
  6. Knead for about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth.
  7. Wrap in plastic & refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  8. Using card board or card stock, cut an oval about 6"x 4" to use as a template for cutting the cannoli dough.
  9. Heat oil to 360.
  10. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide in half.
  11. Roll out one half very thin (about 1/8" thick).
  12. Using the template you made cut out dough.
  13. I got 4 out of each half. Use a fork to prick the dough on both sides.
  14. Wrap the dough around the cannoli form.
  15. Brush the egg white on the dough where it overlaps to seal it.
  16. Carefully place dough on form in the oil. Fry until golden brown.
  17. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then remove the form.
  18. Allow to cool completely before filling.

Cannoli filling

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine milk and 1/4 cup sugar. Bring to a boil.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar and salt. Stir to combine.
  3. Add flour and stir.
  4. Once milk has come to a boil, mix 1/4 cup milk mixture into the egg mixture.
  5. Repeat until you have added a cup of the milk to the eggs. This is tempering your eggs so they don't scramble.
  6. Add the egg mixture to the remaining milk mixture in the pan. Bring to a boil a second time. The mixture will thicken. Boil for 1 minute.
  7. Remove from heat and add vanilla and cinnamon.
  8. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap pressing the plastic on the surface of the filling. Chill for 2 hours.

Filling the cannoli

  1. Once everything has cooled/chilled, place filling in a pastry bag.
  2. Pipe filling into one end of the cannoli and then the other end.
  3. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or cinnamon.
  4. Do not fill cannoli more than a half hour before serving. The filling will make the shell soggy.
 This post is part of my recipe challenge series. Check out all the other fun challenging foods I’ve learned to make.


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