Another of my favorite ricotta filled desserts! In fact, you’ll notice I have a separate “ricotta” category in my recipe index. Sicilians are known for their cannoli and my mother has made traditional fried cannoli shells for years. You’ll find that recipe here. While I’m all for maintaining tradition I’m also more health conscious and like the idea of simplifying recipes and having alternatives. So when my mother introduced these pizzelle cannoli, I was all for it!
Pizzelle are flat and crisp waffle like cookies made in an iron which is similar to a waffle iron. You can purchase one for about 50$. I bought one for my mother’s birthday a few years ago and the return has been quite advantageous! I recently joined her for a pizzelle cannoli making session.
The trick to making these pizzelle shells is to roll them right away when you remove them from the iron. They harden quite rapidly so you will probably only be able to roll one out of every 2 pizzelle and therefore make about 18 flat pizzelle and 18 rolled from this recipe. My mother has had these cane cannoli forms for years which she used to make the traditional fried shells. You could find stainless steel versions of these at a kitchen supply store and I also saw some inexpensive ones on Amazon.ca. In my research I also saw some sites that suggest you cut off pieces of a wooden broom handle, but you’d have to probably sand it and make sure it’s clean.
My filling of choice, of course, is ricotta but custard is another option. In order to prevent soggy pizzelle, I recommend that you fill them a maximum of two hours before serving. Simply scoop your filling in a plastic bag, snip off a corner and then pipe the ricotta into both ends of the shells. My mother and I made close to one hundred pizzelle because, as you know, no Italian mother makes anything in small quantities! The recipe I’m sharing here is half her usual recipe. These are easy and fast to make, and make a lovely presentation as well. Give them a try and if you do, please don’t forget to take a photo and tag me with #mangiabedda on Instagram.
Pizzelle Cannoli with Ricotta filling
Pizzelle Cannoli are a great alternative to traditional cannoli shells, and there's no frying involved! A crispy pizzelle shell is filled with creamy, sweetened ricotta.
For the pizzelle:
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup Anisette, optional
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
For ricotta filling (for 12 cannoli):
- 2 1/2 cups ricotta
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar or more according to taste
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- For serving : powdered sugar optional
For the pizzelle: Preheat the pizzelle iron. To make the batter, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until combined. The batter will have a slightly thicker consistency then a pancake batter.
- When the pizzelle iron is hot, place about 1 tablespoon of batter per pizzelle. Bake until pizzelle are a light golden color, about 1 minute.
- When they are ready, unmold hot pizzelle with a spatula and immediately wrap around the cannoli form. As they set rather quickly, it is realistic to mold one out of every second pizzelle. Save the others to eat as is.
- To make the filling, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Fill a medium sized plastic bag with the filling and snip off the bottom corner to make a small hole for piping. Pipe each pizzelle shell from both ends until full. Before serving, dust with powdered sugar.