Recipe by Sarah Phillips and Kelly Hong; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 2012 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
Cannoli probably developed from an Arab pastry, as the case with so many other Sicilian desserts and dishes. Usually made and fried in lard, they were originally a Carnival food, but are so popular today, they can be found year round in pastry shops.
In the United States, pastry shops use a type of ricotta filling called ricotta impastata. It is very smooth and dry-textured, perfect for filling cannolis with. Instead, we show you how to make your own from drained fresh ricotta, so it can have the same proper firm consistency. If using fresh and drained ricotta, let the finished filling recipe firm in the refrigerator overnight before filling the fried cannoli shells. The filling is traditionally flavored with cinnamon oil, but we flavor ours ground cinnamon, orange peel, and chopped chocolate, however you can flavor yours anyway you want. We use our special technique to insure that ours are flaky and have a nice crunch when fried.