I don’t know why no one has ever attempted to make Cannoli’s without cannoli forms before. Who makes cannoli’s so often at home that you find yourself needing a form, let alone trying to find one in the nearest store?
Although I adore these sweet Italian favorites, I don’t make them as often as I should. Now, here is a unique way of making these sweetened, crunchy, handheld treats without bothering with the forms. Nothing has changed in the taste of my cannoli’s compared to professionally made you find at restaurants and bakeries (Well, maybe for the better). There are, however, two things that stand out here. First, anyone can do this recipe with no extra utensils other than what you have at home. Secondly, my recipe is crispier and can withstand the dampness of the cheesy filling without getting soggy. So by all means, make these ahead and haul them out when you want.
These are so perfectly balanced between sweet and crispy, I would never buy cannoli’s unless I had no other choice. I think you will agree that this recipe will be your favorite Italian finger food as well. You may also opt to spend a little more money on the filling by substituting mascarpone cheese for the ricotta. Certainly, this is fine, but allow the mascarpone to come to room temperature before mixing.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 egg whites
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 1 Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 2 baking sheets liberally with nonstick cooking spray, or simply line with parchment paper; set aside
- 2 Add butter to a large microwavable bowl and heat, on high, for 10-15 seconds, or until just melted but not scalding hot, making sure you cover the bowl
- 3 Let come to room temperature and beat in egg whites and vanilla
- 4 Beat the powdered sugar into butter mixture until completely smooth. Add the flour and continue beating until smooth
- 5 Drop about a 2 tablespoon amount of batter onto prepared cookie sheet
- 6 With the back of a spoon, spread batter to form a 6-inch circle, making sure the batter is evenly spread
- 7 Do the same with another mound of batter, at least an inch from the first
- 8 Bake for 45 minutes in the upper half of the oven, or until slightly browned around the edges
- 9 Remove and loosen with a spatula. Let sit for about 30 seconds, or until starting to stiffen
- 10 Working quickly, roll the cannoli so the one side overlaps the opposite side
- 11 Set aside, resting seamside down. The shells will hold their shape easily, and harden quickly
- 12 Repeat with remaining shells and continue cooking and rolling the rest of the batter