I personally never have any intention of making cannoli from scratch. There is so much that can go wrong: soggy greasy shells, lumpy, over sweetened filling, a general “not worth the calories” result. In my opinion, it is much better to make your way to Sicily, the only place to get the real thing. More specifically, head to the city of Monreale, perched high above Palermo. Here you can gaze in awe at the at the magnificent th century mosaics that adorn the church. And because gazing in awe works up quite an appetite, head right across the piazza from the cathedral to the little pastry shop that makes hands down the best cannoli I have ever tasted.
These cookies are not cannoli. They don’t look like cannoli. They are soft and cakelike, rather than crunchy with a creamy center, but they have some of the best elements of a perfect cannoli: ricotta cheese, pistachios, cinnamon, orange zest and chocolate chips. I have to say, they are pretty delicious. But still, go to Sicily.
Cannoli Cookies (recipe from www.snappygourmet.com)
Makes 36 cookies
1 cup unsalted butter softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1, 10 ounce bag mini chocolate chips, divided
1 cup chopped pistachios
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs then the ricotta cheese until well combined then mix in the vanilla extract, cinnamon, and fresh orange zest.
Next, mix in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Mix in the flour. Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips and the pistachios. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease.
Using a medium cookie scoop or spoon, drop about 1 1/2 tablespoons of cookie dough for each cookie leaving about 2 inches between each cookie.
Bake cookies at 375 degrees F for about 8-11 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Cool slightly then move to wire racks to cool completely.
Microwave remaining chocolate chips on high in a small microwave safe bowl in 20 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Spoon melted chocolate into a small resealable bag, clip one corner slightly, then drizzle melted chocolate over cookies. Let cool for chocolate to set.