Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mom's Famous Cannoli Recipe

Well, I promised you a cannoli recipe so here you go.

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:





Cannoli shell:
4 cups of flour
3/4 cup Crisco
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
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.

Cannoli filling:



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. =)

46 comments:

Kristin H. said...

I've never had a cannoli.

WeaselMomma said...

That sounds awesome!!!!! But did you leave the ricotta off the ingredient list?

Kate @ Life As I Live It said...

Oh no. The Italian nonna in me is feeling a twinge. A canoli baking twinge. Even though I can't say I've ever eaten one (in this life...lol) or made them. But I suddenly feel like I MUST.

Thanks for sharing!

LittlePaintedPolkaDots said...

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a divine little piece of information. Auntie's cannolis are to die for.

For those of you that have never had...a single cannoli in your whole life...please, do so.

WeaselMomma, there are both cream-filled and ricotta-filled cannoli's. Both delicious.:)

Leslie said...

mmmm....Crisco. If there's Crisco in it, it's got to be good, right???

Colleen - Mommy Always Wins said...

{grarggraraeregrrrgaalll}

(*That's a Homer Simpson drool if you couldn't make it out.)

LOVE cannoli.

May just have to go buy some later. Cuz I'm not foolin' anyone...that's a LOT of steps! But thanks for the recipe all the same!

Suzie said...

Good lord i could never never make that. It is so hard but I can open the wrapper to pastries very well

common mom said...

I've never had cannoli . . . and I do not own those baking implements :-) But, it sounds SOOOOO good, I may just have to do myself some shopping. I'm still searching for something I can make that will impress my kids (hubby is the cook here) . . . the eggakooga is on my list as well!

Karen MEG said...

Yummmmm, but those tubes are scaring me just a little. I can barely handle a stirfry :)

Brooke said...

those sound great! I have never had them before. If you do make them you have to take pictures of the process and blog it!

Dana said...

um hello... YUM!!!! thanks for sharing that recipe!! i'm gonna try it!!

Killjoy said...

Thank you! I have cooking club tonight and was desperate for a good recipe! Thank you!

ruth said...

Hey all you American bloggers, I'm reading you from London, England and I've been looking for a Cannoli recipe after seeing Marie make them on 'everybody loves Raymond'. Looks like I found it!
Great! Thanks!
A wannabeitalianmama from England.

Daniel R. Shor said...

Excellent recipe -- extremely sweet. Unfortunately I don't have the cones either, so I made just the filling and some almond/chocolate powder. I used about a quarter~half a teaspoon of lemon juice in the creme while mixing to help reduce the sweetness, it came out excellent.

Thank you!

Victor said...

Can't obtain tubes here in DownUnder. Any other way of creating them?
Just drooled over Sicilian Cannoli, so if anyone can help re a substitute for tubes (must have had another method in the old days?!) I'd be grateful.
Gay

Anonymous said...

I had cannoli in Italy last week. I am so hooked on them. I have looked everywhere for them here in western Canada. I now think that I may just have to use this recipe to make some.
Thanks

Donna said...

I have had cannolis but only with Ricotta filling....I will never have them again. This is absolutely the best cannoli recipe ever!!! Thank you so much for sharing it. I will cherish this recipe forever!

Body said...

I've only heard of cannoli being made with Ricotta cheese...hmm

Anonymous said...

For those of you who don't have or are intimidated by the tubes, there is an alternative. Follow the dough recipe up to and including rolling it out. But then cut the dough into 3x3 squares. Fry the squares flat. Make the filing. On a plate, pipe a dime sized amount of filing in the center. Place one of the square shells on top to "glue" it down. Pipe filling onto the square shell, spread if nessicary, and place another shell on top to finish the first story. Then pipe/spread filling and place another square shell on top to finish the second story. Build a third and maybe a forth story. This will allow you to make a "stacked" cannoli

Anonymous said...

I found a tip on another site to use instead of the tubes. I watched food network and they were rolling and frying them on little wooden sticks so - go to the hardware store and buy a dowel rod - figure out what size you want to make the cannoli first so you know how fat it needs to be and then have them cut it into pieces for you - very cheap alternative. I got a dozen forms for less than $2 and it works great. I did cure the wood first - soaked it in veg oil and then put in the oven on 200 for about an hour before i used them. Happy Cooking

Anonymous said...

I also use a similar cream cannoli recipe handed down from my Italian Grandmother although mine includes whipping cream for a lighter consistancy. I don't use the shells at all. The cream makes a great dip for Vanilla wafers or as a cookie sandwich filling with Pizzelles. If you blend in bananas it also makes the best banana cream pie you have ever eaten.

barbara said...

Wow, where do you guys live? I went to my local kitchen store and bought the tubes, no big deal. However, I tried making them last night, and OMG, this is not an easy task. First they were too thick, the temperature of the oil kept fluctuating, I couldn't get them off the tubes...having said that, I am going to try this recipe and see what happens. My beau is Italian and has asked me for these. Great, now I am in competition with his mother. To be continued....

Theresa said...

I love canolis!! Did you forget the ricota though? I never had one without it. But this sounds great i will have to try it.

Mama Smurf said...

No, I haven't forgotten the ricotta. My mom and I don't care for the ricotta filling in most bakery canolis. This is just an alternate type of filling for those that don't care for the ricotta filling. Enjoy! =)

Anonymous said...

I am a displaced New Yorker living in the midwest and I have not found one place that has cannolis. When I was growing up, they were a holiday staple in my house. My mother always brought them from the bakery. After reading this recipe, I understand why. This seems like a lot of work, but, when you have no other options and are desperately craving a cannoli, I am willing to try it! Thanks so much for posting this!!

Kirsten (montreal) said...

I made them for Christmas this year and you are so so right! This recipe is by far the best one I've come across, I have a feeling people will be coming to my gatherings for the cannolis from now on! It may seem like a lot of work, but if you like cooking or baking you'll have a blast making them, plus you get a really sweet reward for all your effort and like a million compliments.

I challenge anyone to try this recipe, trust me it's one you'll use again and again!

Thank you SO much for this post!

Anonymous said...

I read your recipe, I can honestly say that is very similar to the one I been making for years. Even though I'm hispanic, I have a friend that is Italian and she shared her recipe. I don't use ricotta cheese as well. My recipe has 2 more steps after the custard is cooked and cooled to make it fluffy. I also use half and half instead of milk.

Anonymous said...

hi! i finally found the cannoli tubes during a food expo here in our country. but the sales clerk said its aluminum made, is that ok? also, i'm wondering, can it be possible to bake the cannoli shells instead of frying to make it less greasy? thanks!

Mama Smurf said...

I really don't know the answer to baking them. If you're really worried about the fat/calories? Then you should make a different dessert. It just woudnt taste the same. And cannolis are just not meant to be good for you. =)

Mike said...

Hi,

Thanks very much for posting this recipe. I have never made them but have eaten plenty :)

2 tips:

1. cut the thinly rolled dough in an oval, but add a tab to your pattern so you have something to fold over the tube; and

2. I tried water to seal the edge but switched to egg white and it really held them on the tubes after that.

Good luck and try it!

moosesmom said...

i soooooo want to make this to kinda show up my sister-in-law who recently decided to bake something for every family dinner. where would i get the tubes though?

Mama Smurf said...

Most cake decorating supply stores carry them. I've also found them online. Good luck!

Marci C said...

This recipe is actually simpler than the recipe I typically make, so I used this one to teach my girls how to make them. I have pics i can post... if i can figure out how! Thanks for the recipe!

Marci C said...

Managed to change my profile pic to the Cannoli pic. We will see if that works. Also, use Sweet Marsala Wine in the dough. It makes a huge difference if you are looking for an authentic cannoli taste. I'm going to go eat a couple for breakfast.

Diana K said...

Found this recipe a couple weeks ago; ordered the cannoli forms and a pastry bag and made them this past weekend.

I love the shells - they are the best ones I've ever tasted. Not too much in love with the filling - that may be because I am super sensitive to really sweet foods; husband and family friends really like them, though. I will keep using your shell recipe, even if I do change up the filling or go back to a ricotta one.

Heidi said...

Absolutely delicious! I also used half and half instead of milk, and added mini chocolate chips to the filling of course! To make the shells, I used a chianti in place of water and the taste was wonderful. I had a hard time finding the forms as well and ended up going to the hardware store and getting a 3/4" aluminum tube. I then took it to my dad and sweetly asked for him to cut it into 3.5 inch pieces for me. Tube was only $10 and I ended up getting 10 cannoli forms from it.

Michele Mead said...

Hey, just to let you all know. I just bought some cannoli tubes on Ebay for around $6. I only bought 4, but I'm just attempting a recipe, so, thanks!

Justin said...

FINALLY, someone posted the traditional Sicilian "pudding" cannoli! This is the recipe that my Uncle's parents brought with them from Sicily.

My wife makes them just about every year and they are quickly eaten up. We buy the shells, though. Finding Italian stores in St. Louis is about as hard as finding kids near a candy store. As far as tubes go, I think my aunts used cut up broom sticks!
Thanks for posting this.
Jeff

Kim said...

I have an Italian friend who only loves the "pudding" style cannoli. He is able to get them at a bakery about 45 minutes away. he has tried for years to get someone in the family to figure out the recipe. I tasted one lick and knew this was a cornstarch based recipe. find your recipe - cut the sugar down to 1 1/2 cups and used cinnamon oil instead of stick and much to their surprise made the pudding just like the bakery....thanks for the post - it got me the basic recipe to work with to match their taste.....

Jen said...

THANK YOU!!! This is an amazing recipe! I was having trouble finding a good cannoli recipe for a party this weekend and this one was so EASY to use and WORKED the way it was supposed to!!! And I love the pudding filling too! Thanks again :)

Anonymous said...

I made the shells & they were great. Mine didn't get those nice air bubbles when I fried them, which was a bit sad, but it was my first attempt so maybe I need more practice. We made a ricotta filling, but next time I'm going to try the custard. Thanks

Tinki said...

super excited..., cant wait to try thia on my family. I figured if I can teach myself how to make tomollies ( spelling wrong :( )
mexican dish....3 days VERY TIME consuming
but well worth the zingers I got back whoohooo
oh yah! I can do this!!!! yes I can! :")
thanks Karyn

Annetta said...

I just made the custard--it is cooling now. I'm very excited. I'm buying the shells (I work in a resteraunt and our food supply guy has em--they come in today). I'm doing these for our 4-H kids' Italian night--most of them I'm sure have never had a cannolli!

Jessica Pearson said...

I am part Sicilian, and i love this recipe for the shells. But for the filling i use a secret family recipe lol. Everyone at the show where i work love them and ask for more. You must try this even if you think it takes awhile.

Diane said...

Just got back from King Arthur Flour store and bought my forms. I was searching for a recipe to try, and I'm going with yours. They look yummy.! Wish me luck. Thank you for posting!

Phyllis Frantel said...

Your recipe is the closest to my mom's that I have seen! I also use custard filling, and cut dowel sticks for the tubes. I have both, but she always used the wood ones, and I like them better. My recipe for the dough uses oil, milk instead of water, and vanilla and a T of oj instead of cinnamon. I am going to try the shortening today! This used to be a tradition for us for St. Joseph's Day tables, but now I do them for Easter. I can't bring myself to buy any dessert, especially these!!