Gingerbread-flavored cannoli

Gingerbread-flavored cannoli

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In 2018, my Man and I spent two wonderful weeks in Sicily. We saw wonderful places and ate amazing dishes. Even before the trip, I read a lot about local specialties then I saw cannoli for the first time in my life, on a photograph.

cannoli
Cannoli… love at first sight

It was love at first sight! Crispy shells, with a huge amount of delicious ricotta cream in it, can only be good. So, among many other delicacies, I definitely wanted to taste cannoli as well.

When I finally got my first cannoli of my life, I was as happy as a kid when he gets a new toy! I admired its beauty. The light brown colored shells with the snow-white ricotta filling, sprinkled with pistachios and cocktail cherries. Perfect. Well then when I tasted it, I was completely shocked. I couldn’t even imagine how something so delicious could be. Creamy, silky, sweet, both crispy and creamy, indescribable.

This recipe you can find here is not the original Sicilian recipe, but my version in which the cannoli got a really festive gingerbread flavor.

gingerbread flavored cannoli with ricotta and persimmon filling
Gingerbread flavored cannolis with various fillings

We tend to stuff a lot of (sugary) sweets into ourselves during the Christmas holidays. This gingerbread-flavored cannoli is the perfect alternative. Elegant, not too sweet, you can eat more of it one after the other almost without feeling yourself guilty. 🙂

Cannoli making is very easy but you will need one special thing, and that is the cannoli tube. I made mini cannolis for which I used these tubes. It takes a little more time to shape and decorate the smaller ones, but it feels good to eat up to three or four of them at a time. If you want to make traditional sized cannolis, you will need these.

I will show you two kinds of fillings. One with ricotta (with a little orange flavor) and one with ricotta and persimmon puree. You better not to choose but try both! Don’t forget to read my bonus tips at the end of the recipe for other variations for both the filling and the shells.

Gingerbread-flavored Cannoli

We tend to stuff a lot of (sugary) sweets into ourselves during the Christmas holidays. This gingerbread-flavored cannoli is the perfect alternative. Elegant, not too sweet, you can eat more of it one after the other almost without feeling yourself guilty.
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 36
Calories 91 kcal

Equipment

  • Cannoli tubes

Ingredients
  

For the cannoli shells

  • 300 g flour
  • 4 tablespoons of erythritol
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 60 g butter (unsalted)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1.5 egg whites
  • 100 ml gingerbread flavored liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

For the ricotta filling

  • 400 g ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons of orange blossom water
  • 4 tablespoons of erythritol

For the persimmon filling

  • 250 g ricotta
  • 230 g persimmon peeled and blended into puree
  • 1 tablespoon of erythritol

For decorating

  • chopped pistachios, melted dark and white chocolate and cocktail cherries

For frying the shells

  • few cups of sunflower oil

Instructions
 

Making the cannoli shells

  • Grab all the ingredients of the shells listed above, put everything into a big bowl and stir with a spatula first, then with your hands, knead the dough. Then put the dough into the fridge for about one hour.
  • After that, slowly start to warm up the sunflower oil. Sprinkle a kneading board with a small amount of flour and use a rolling pin to stretch the dough thinly.
  • If you make mini cannolis, then you can use a glass about 8-9 centimeters in diameter to cut out the round shapes from the dough. If you make traditional sized cannolis, then you will need a mug, about 14-15 centimeters in diameter.
  • Place one round dough piece on a cannoli tube, gently fold one side on the tube. Smear the part of the dough where the edges of the dough will meet with a little egg white, then fold over the other edge. Press a little.
  • When the oil is warm, put the tubes with the shells into it and fry them for about only 3 (!!!) minutes. Transfer the hot tubes on a wire rack and let them cool for about one minute, then carefully you can pull the tube out from the cannoli shell. Then let them completely cool

Making the fillings

  • Mix all the ingredients well for both fillings.

Decorating and serving

  • When the shells completely cooled, fill them using a pastry bag or a spoon and decorate them as you wish. If you won’t serve all the cannolis immediately, store the fillings and the shells separated from each other in airtight containers in the fridge. If you store the cannolis filled, the shells will soften and won’t remain crunchy.
Keyword cannoli, dessert, gingerbread, persimmon, pistachios, ricotta, sweet

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cannoli shells pistachios cherries
It can happen some times that the shells open when frying. That’s not a problem, you will get another type of beauty!

Bonus tips

The traditional cannoli recipe contains a sweet Sicilian wine, called marsala wine. I have a lot of things in the kitchen, but not marsala, so I had to replace it with something else. I used gingerbread flavored liqueur instead of marsala so I got a really festive dessert at the end. If you don’t have gingerbread liqueur at home, that’s not a problem, you can use some other kind of wine or liqueur for example. Its alcohol content evaporates quickly during the frying process. What is important, to choose something that is sweet!

cannoli with pistachios and cocktail cherries
Chocolate and pistachios are very good friends if it comes to cannoli

If you want to make light brown colored cannolis, leave out the cocoa powder and the egg whites from the dough. It will be more crispier!

Let’s talk about the fillings. For example, instead of persimmon, you can use pumpkin puree or mango puree. You can stir chocolate chips into the ricotta, or lyophilised fruits (raspberry!), there are many-many variatios that you may try.

variations for cannoli
Variations for cannoli

The same goes for decorating. Try dark and white chocolate, pistachios, pecans or cashews, chocolate shavings, cocktail cherries (I had red, yellow and green cherries for example) and candied orange pieces!

cannolis
Gingerbread cannolis. Each one is a little different
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