- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 3 tbsp butter cold and cubed
- 1 large egg
- 3 tbsp Marsala wine cold
- 1 egg white
- ¾ cup ricotta cheese drained
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp orange or lemon zest
- ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips
- Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt together in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles small pebbles. Add the egg and cold wine and pulse until the dough just barely begins to hold together. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead until smooth, 3-4 minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Lightly coat the dough with flour and roll it through a pasta machine set to the thickest setting. If you don’t have a pasta machine, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out as thin as possible on a lightly floured surface, to ⅛-inch thick.
- Use a 4-inch, round cookie cutter to cut circles from the dough. Take one circle at a time and pull it into a 5-inch oval. Repeat with the excess dough, kneading it back together and cutting it until you have 12 ovals.
- Place the egg white in a small bowl and set aside. In a wide pot with a heavy bottom, heat shortening or the vegetable oil of your choice to between 350 and 380 °F. Line a large plate with paper towels.
- Wrap one oval of dough loosely lengthwise around a mold or 1-inch-diameter wooden dowel. Brush one end of the dough with egg white, then pull the dry end over the top and press down to seal. Repeat with three more dough ovals.
- Using tongs, carefully lower the dough into the oil and fry until golden brown, turning them as they fry, 2-3 minutes. Remove the shells with the tongs and transfer them to the paper towel-lined plate to cool.
- Then the shells are cool enough to touch, remove the molds and repeat with the remaining dough, in batches until all shells have golden brown.
- Dip ends of cooled shells in melted chocolate if desired and allow to cool until dry. Fried shells can be stored in an airtight container for a few weeks.
- Place the ricotta (drained overnight in cheesecloth or a nut milk bag) and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix together gently with a rubber spatula until well combined. Add the zest and chips and fold until evenly distributed. (Cream can be refrigerated up to one day in a covered container.)
- When ready to fill and serve the pastry, place the cream in a disposable pastry bag or zipper bag and cut a ½-inch diameter piece off the end/corner. Insert the tip into one end of a shell and pipe the cream in, filling it halfway, then pipe the rest in the other end. Repeat with the remaining shells.
- Dip the pastry shell in chocolate chips, crushed pistachios and sliced almonds if desired, and dust the finished cannoli with powdered sugar before serving.
Make ahead storage times:
- Prepared Cannolis: Store in an airtight container for up to 6 hours or in the fridge for up to 2 days. Refrigerating the cannolis will cause them to go stale quicker.
- Cannoli Cream: Store in the refrigerator for 1 day or freezer for up to 30 days.
- Cannoli Shells: Store in a sealer airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 30 days.