Recipe: Take the Cannoli. Leave the Gun.

Oh yes. Yesssss, indeed. You bet your bootie they taste as good as they look! For those not in the know, a cannoli is an Italian rolled-tuile cookie filled with an amaretto-ricotta cream and tiny chocolate bits. They’re not a cake-walk to make, but they translate to gluten-free quite well at home, so it was totally worth it. If you don’t believe me, watch.

Almond Cannoli

  • For the cookies
  • 1/3 cup light Karo syrup
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup slivered almonds, pulsed to meal in food processor
  • 2/3 cup gluten-free baking flour (or regular if you’re not allergic)
  • For the Filling
  • 16 ounces whole milk ricotta
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp amaretto or almond extract
  • 1/2 cup tiny chocolate chips
  • dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350*. To make the cookies, put the Karo syrup, butter and brown sugar in a medium sauce pan on low heat. While that is melting together, whirl the almonds and flour mixture in a food processor until the consistency of coarse cornmeal. It’s okay if there are small pieces of visible almonds. Yay for texture! Put in a mixing bowl. Pour the melted butter/sugar over the top, and mix well.

Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper, and place five 1″ balls of dough on each. (a small dough scoop works great!)  It will run. It’s okay- it’s gonna run- hence only five cookies per sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

When you pull the cookies from the oven, they will be flat and thin- let them cool for 2 or 3 minutes, then cut the parchment paper around each cookie, and wrap the still soft and warm cookie around a dowel, wooden spoon handle, or anything cylindrical you have around- I used a paper towel tube covered in foil. The parchment will hold them in place while they cool. Once they cool, they’ll be crisp and you can slide them from the tube.

For the filling: In a mixing bowl, whip the whole milk ricotta with the confectioners sugar, salt and almond extract (amaretto would probably be better, but alas, I am fresh out). Once it’s well incorporated, add the chocolate morsels. Fill a piping bag with a wide round tip (or a zip-bag and nip the corner off) and pop it in the fridge to chill while you wait for the cookies to cool.

When ready to serve, (and do this right before you serve lest the cookies get soggy) fill each cannoli shell, first from one side out, then flip it around and fill the other side. Dust with confectioners sugar and a few extra chocolate morsels and enjoy!

I have six of these babies sitting on my kitchen counter, and I keep stabbing my hand with a fork as I reach for another one.


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