I might have a new favorite dessert!
If I had an old Italian grandmother, this is the recipe she would have handed down to me. I would have fond memories of afternoons spent in her kitchen, learning to make cannoli as she shared her wisdom along with the recipe.
But I don’t have an Italian grandmother. This recipe for white-chocolate dipped cannoli with a strawberry-infused cream filling came from my kitchen. It’s a baked twist on the irresistible, classic Italian dessert.
So, the homespun memories will have to start with me. In a few decades, I can be the wise grandmother, sharing this recipe with her granddaughter. But today, I’ll start by sharing it with you. (And if you’re lucky, you could win a trip to Italy from World Market and ABC’s “The Chew” to start making your own Italian memories. More on that at the end of this post.)
Instead of fried cannoli shells, my version is made using homemade pizzelle wafer cookies shaped into cones.
Then the shells are dipped in strawberry-flecked white chocolate and filled with a berry-infused cream. If you’re feeling especially decadent, you can drizzle the finished cannoli with white chocolate sauce.
Now, that’s a dessert you can’t refuse! Am I right?
While this dessert does require quite a few steps, using the pizzelles instead of frying your shells, is one of the things that makes this an easy cannoli recipe. You will need some time — an afternoon in the kitchen or a few hours spaced over several days — but you don’t need the culinary skills of a wise Italian grandmother to pull this recipe off.
I headed to the international food aisle at World Market to pick up some of the key ingredients for the cannoli shells and the filling.
For the filling, you’ll need ricotta cheese, Bonne Maman Strawberry Jam, powdered sugar, a good-quality vanilla (like Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract), heavy cream and Whip It powder to help stabilize the cream.
And I can’t forget about the Torani White Chocolate Sauce for the all-important drizzle!
You should have everything else you need in the pantry or fridge: eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder, and oil.
You will also need a Pizzelle Cooker Maker.
I remember making pizzelles as part of a lesson in school, so it was a real treat for me to make them myself all these many years later. I had forgotten how delicious these crunchy, wafer-thin cookies are. We will defintely be having these lots over the holiday season. I sense a new family tradition!
And the cookies aren’t hard to make at all, especially if you follow the directions and heed the advice not to overload the baker with batter.
Less really is more. You only need about a teaspoon of dough for each cookie. Otherwise your cookies won’t be as thin and crispy as you want them to be.
The thinner the better when you’re shaping the cookies into cannoli shells, too.
You’ll do that when the cookies are still hot by wrapping them around a wooden dowel that comes with the pizzelle baker. The end of a wooden spoon works, too. A key to keeping them sealed is to press the seam onto a hard surface, like a wooden cutting board or your countertop until the shell cools and hardens.
With a little practice, you’ll get the hang of it. And any shells you mess up while baking, you can still eat. Cook’s reward.
Once my shells had cooled, I melted some white chocoalte over a double boiler and dipped the ends. I used one Divine White Chocolate and Strawberries candy bar and half of a Lindt white chocolate bar.
I actually recommend making and dipping the cannoli shells a few days before you want to serve them. You can also make your filling a day ahead, too.
Then when you’e ready to serve, all you have to do is fill the shells with the strawberry cream using a pastry bag or cupcake injector. Do this right before serving so the shells don’t get soggy.
- 6 eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ cups sugar
- white chocolate bars, for melting
- 16 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese, strained to remove excess moisture
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup strawberry jam
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 packet Whip It whipped cream stabilizer, optional
- Torani White Chocolate Sauce, optional
- Pink or red sanding sugar, optional
- Beat the eggs until smooth, then add the oil and vanilla extract.
- Add sifted flour and baking powder and sugar. Blend until combined.
- The mixture will be thick and sticky.
- Preheat and set the temperature dial on the pizzelle baker according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Use a teaspoon or demitasse spoon to spoon a small amount of batter into the center of each baking plate.
- Close and latch the lid and bake for about 45 seconds until the cookies are a light golden brown.
- Remove immediately and wrap hot, pliable cookies around a wooden dowel to form into cannoli shells.
- Press and hold the seam of each shell onto a hard surface, like a countertop or cutting board and hold for a few seconds, until the shell cools and begins to harden.
- Remove shells from dowel and allow to cool completely.
- When the shells have cooled completely and are crispy, melt white chocolate in a double boiler over low heat.
- Dip the ends of each cannoli shell into white chocolate. Transfer to wax paper to cool and harden.
- Combine drained ricotta cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat at medium speed with a stand mixer for 10 minutes until smooth.
- Add strawberry jam and beat for another 2-3 minutes.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine heavy cream and Whip It powder. Beat the cream mixture until stiff peaks form.
- Fold whipped cream into the ricotta mixture and stir gently to incorporate.
- Refrigerate filling for at least an hour (or up to three days) before filling shells.
- Right before serving, use a pastry bag or cake decorator to pipe cream into the shells.
- Sprinkle with red or pink sanding sugar and drizzle with white chocolate sauce.
I am telling you, the next time you make Italian food, you need to end the meal with these.
For other great Italian dessert ideas, check out these posts from my fellow World Market Tribe members.
Hungry for a great adventure? Enter Cost Plus World Market’s Gourmet Getaway Sweepstakes, courtesy of ABC’s “The Chew” and Bella Italia, for a chance to win a culinary trip for two to Italy!
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In addition to the gourmet ingredients, I used the following World Market products for this recipe:
- Red Amelie Cake Stand
- Decorative Parchment Paper
- Cupcake Injector and Decorating Set
- Mason Jar Measuring Cups
- Mason Jar Ceramic Measuring Spoons
- Chef’s Choice Pizzelle Pro Express Cookie Maker
- Mason Jar Spoon Rest
- Mini Mint Colander
- Gingham Spatula
Disclosure: I am a member of World Market’s blog ambassador program, and I received compensation for this post. All opinions are truthful and my own, and I only feature companies and products I use and love. Read my full disclosure policy here. #WorldMarketTribe