Last week, my daughter and I were in Whole Foods and I saw pre-made cannoli shells!
I mean, THANK YOU Whole Foods for doing the dirty work, and allowing me to skip the step that makes me and my house smell like we’re part of a short-order fry cook institution.
I figured it’s October. People are pumpkin crazy. There has to be a recipe for pumpkin cannolis. Bingo. Thank you Internet. I found this recipe by Lauren Miyashiro for pumpkin cannolis.
This recipe calls for making your cannoli shells from pre-made pie crust. You know, a quick hack that saves you time. I did not make the shells, but I’m simply going to throw this out there…pre-made pie crust as a cannoli shell might just taste like a crap hack.
I dunno. I didn’t try it. And I won’t. Call me a brat. Call me whatever you want.
I’m going to throw this out there, as well, if you’re going to make cannolis, then you should make your own shells, as we did when we were in Italy, or let a bakery or a place like Whole Foods do the dirty work for you. If you’re lucky enough to have a good bakery near you that makes cannolis, you can likely order empty shells from them, or maybe they even sell cannoli making kits, and all you have to do is assemble.
Maybe the bakery hasn’t thought about this idea, and you will become their marketing genius?? Stranger things have happened.
These are the pre-made shells I got from Whole Foods. Notice the little hole marks in them? My guess is these might actually be baked, and not fried. Maybe that saved me a few calories. I dunno. They were tasty and crispy-crunchy like a cannoli shell should be, either way.
When we made the filling, I was surprised at how runny it was, and then I thought back to the cannolis we made when we were in Italy, and I think they drained the ricotta cheese for a while to remove any excess liquid before they added it to the filling. I’d highly suggest you do this.
Once we had the filling made as called for in the recipe, we tasted it, then added more pumpkin spice, a bit more salt to taste, some nutmeg, a little cinnamon, etc. In other words, we made it to our liking because we found the recipe’s filling to be on the bland side. But we love spice. You might like the recipe as indicated. No rules are absolute when it comes to taste.
We had to fill the shells and put them back in the fridge to set up for a while before serving. The innards were still quite runny, but the end result was tasty. Might even have been tastier with a sprinkle of the cinnamon sugar she talks about sprinkled on the ends of the filling.
I was afraid to tip the cannolis to any side to do that since the filling was so runny.
These tasted like pumpkin pie, so if you love that, you’ll love these. They’re rich, but lighter than an actual pumpkin pie. Might be a fun alternative at a Thanksgiving dessert table.
Truth is, and I hate to even say this, I’m not a massive pumpkin fan. A tiny slice of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving is fine for me. My son adores pumpkin pie and he really enjoyed these. If you’re a pumpkin junkie who loves the whole pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving or just because, these might just become a quick go-to dessert, especially if you can find pre-made shells.
Cannolis are not a make ahead dessert. The shells will get very soft once you fill them if they set overnight. The whole enjoyment of a cannoli is the combination of textures – crispy with smooth. If you get the pre-made shells from Whole Foods or a bakery, fill them immediately before serving.
Now go be Italian for a moment.
The easiest homemade cannoli that makes a great, quick dessert for any Fall dinner.
- Cooking spray for pans
- All-purpose flour for rolling out dough
- 15- oz. store-bought refrigerated pie dough
- 2 tbsp. cinnamon-sugar
- 2 c. ricotta
- 1 c. pumpkin puree
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- Pinch salt
- 1 c. mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 2 nonsticking baking sheets with cooking spray. Tear off a large square of foil, then roll the foil into a long and tight cylinder. Repeat to make 4 cylinders total. Place 2 foil cylinders on each baking sheet and spray foil with cooking spray.
Onto a lightly floured surface, unroll pie crust and sprinkle all over with cinnamon-sugar. Use a 3” biscuit cutter to stamp out rounds. Wrap the rounds around the foil and pinch together the ends to shape a cannoli shell. Bake until golden and crispy, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before carefully removing from foil.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine ricotta and pumpkin purée and beat until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, pumpkin spice, vanilla, and salt and beat until as smooth as possible. Fold in chocolate chips then transfer mixture to a large piping bag.
Pipe filling into the cannoli shells and serve immediately.