My mom is known for her cannolis. You will not taste a better cannoli. I promise you. I will not purchase cannolis at bakeries because they taste like dirt next to these. Seriously. They're THAT good. When mom has a party? People come. Not for the party, not to see family, not for the holiday....but for the CANNOLI!!!
Although, in all honesty, this isn't actually my mom's recipe. She got this recipe from one of my Grandma's friends. So I kinda feel a little dirty for sharing this. Like I'm sharing someone else's secret family recipe. But I think it's safe to say that my Grandma's friend isn't reading this blog....so....you know....
And since I'm being all honest and stuff...I should probably also point out that I've never actually made this recipe myself. Because I don't have any of these:
It's on my to-do list to acquire some cannoli shell tubes of my very own but I still haven't gotten around to it.
I've been making them with my mom for years. My brother and I used to tag team it with her in her kitchen making the shells when we were growing up. Making the shells is a bit of a chore. And almost requires more than one person. Unless you have...like....50 of the above pictured tubes. But it's sooooo worth it!
So, without further ado....I present to you my mom's famous cannoli recipe:
4 cups of flour
3/4 cup Crisco
1/2 cup sugar
20 tbsp of water or wine (there are 16 tbsp to a cup)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
(makes approx. 50 cannolis)
The key to a good flaky shell is to NOT work the dough too much..."cut" the Crisco into the dry ingredients until the mixture is no bigger than pea sized, then add the egg and slowly stir in the water until it forms a ball.
Mom usually makes this in advance and refrigerates the dough. It's easier to roll and work with when it's cold. Roll it thin (using flour so it doesn't stick), like less than an eight of an inch. Use a round cookie cutter (or a cup or a glass...anything round will do)...there are different sized tubes so you'll have to experiment with the size of the circle you're cutting. Wrap the cut circle around the tube and seal the edge with water...be sure the edges are sealed good because they tend to pop open when frying.
Confession: My brother and I used to pray for shells that popped open because then mom let us eat them. You can't fill a cannoli shell if it pops open. =) And sometimes....just sometimes....we'd purposely not seal it well. Sorry mom.
Fill a pan with a whole lotta vegetable oil and crank the burner up to "high". When oil sizzles with a splatter of water...it's ready. Electric deep fryer works too. Gently place several of the cannoli shells in the oil and fry until deep golden brown. If you have many tubes then making these are no big deal....but if you only have a hand full it becomes a chore because you have to wait for the tubes to cool before reloading the circles of dough. Hence, our tag teaming it as children. When you pull the tubes from the oil and slide the shell off the tube...place the shell on paper towel to soak up extra oil.
The shells can be made several days in advance and keep well.
5 cups of milk
1 cinnamon stick
2.5 cups of sugar
1 cup of cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
Heat sugar, milk, and cinnamon, leaving a little milk out to mix with the cornstarch. When milk comes to a boil add cornstarch/milk mixture. Mix until thick stirring continuously. Scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir so the milk doesn't burn...cuz then you end up with yucky ugly brown chunks in your filling. Put in the frig. When cooled, stir in vanilla. (Fills approx. 25 cannolis).
The easiest way to fill the cannoli shell is to use a cake decorator's bag such as this:
You're still not done.
Then you mix (very) finely chopped walnuts and some (very) finely chopped Hershey's chocolate together in a bowl. You can even mix some of the finely chopped Hershey's chocolate into the cooled filling. Yummy. Then dip the ends of the filled cannolis into the nut/chocolate mixture.
For best results...don't fill the shells too early. The shells with get a little soggy and lose their flakiness if you fill them too soon.
And that's it.
I'm going to make some soon....just as soon as I purchase my very own tubes....and take pictures along the way.
If you make these? You MUST share your opinion with me . It'll make my mom happy. =)