By Cathi Iannone - We grew up spending every weekend at our Nonna's house. I have fond memories of sitting on a chair to stir the pot on the stove, and studying her every move as she hand measured all her ingredients. After many years, I began to write her recipes down.
One of my favorite memories is making cannoli with her. She let me wrap the round discs of dough around the wooden dowels and stir the confectioners’ sugar in the creamy, sweet ricotta. I remember dipping my finger in and scooping some of the cannoli mixture to eat while she wasn't looking! Holidays were especially fun, since we made special treats.
She, indeed, left us the most treasured legacy. Since the best recipes are the ones that are shared, I wanted to take out my family's recipe box and share my Nonna's classic cannoli recipe, with my modern twist. This recipe really solves the dilemma of the fried cannoli shell.
1/3 cup of Karo Light Corn Syrup
1/2 cup of light brown sugar (packed)
1/2 stick of butter (salted)
1 cup of roasted, salted almonds (chopped)
1/3 cup of all purpose flour
1/4 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
16 ounces of fresh whole milk ricotta (drained)
1 teaspoon of Amaretto, or almond extract
1-2 teaspoons of heavy cream (optional)
1/2 cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon of salt (fine)
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.) In a 1 quart saucepan, cook brown sugar, butter, Karo Light Corn Syrup, and almond extract over medium heat. Remove from heat when mixture is liquified.
3.) In a large bowl, thoroughly combine flour, chopped almonds, oats.
4.) Pour the sugar/butter/corn syrup mixture over dry ingredients and thoroughly combine with a wooden spoon.
5.) Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop 1-inch sized dough balls on sheet. (Spread dough about 4 inches apart, as they will spread about 4 inches.) Bake about 6-8 minutes.
6.) In a medium size bowl, thoroughly combine drained ricotta, confectioners’ sugar, mini chocolate chips, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. If mixture is too tick, you may add 1-2 teaspoons of heavy cream.
7.) Transfer ricottta/cannoli filling to a pastry bag, using a large star tip for piping.
8.) Remove the almond lace cookies from the oven to cool for 1-2 minutes. (do not try and work with the cookies until they have set at least a couple of minutes.)
9.) Working one at a time, rip the parchment around one of the cookies and begin to form the cookie around the cannoli tube. Rest the cannoli shell with the seam down while it fully cools and sets. Continue in same fashion with all cannoli shells.
10.) When cannoli shells have cooled, slide off cannoli form, and pipe cannoli filling in one side first, then turn cannoli around and fill in other side until entire cannoli is filled.
COOK"S NOTES- If batter becomes too stiff to spoon, simply microwave for 20 seconds and it will soften back up. Also, if cookies cool before you form them into cannoli shells, simple return to oven for about one minute, and they will be workable again. If you do not have cannoli forms, you may use any other kitchen tool that is tubular and has 1/2 inch diameter, such as a large wooden spoon, etc.
Visit Cathi's site, at http://thebrooklynragazza.blogspot.com