Cannoli are Sicilian pastry desserts. The singular is cannolo (or in the Sicilian language cannolu), meaning “little tube”. Cannoli originated in Sicily and are an essential part of Sicilian cuisine. They are also popular in Italian American cuisine and in the United States are known as a general Italian pastry, while they are specifically Sicilian in origin (in Italy, they’re commonly known as “cannoli siciliani”, Sicilian cannoli).
Cannoli consist of tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough, filled with a sweet, creamy filling usually containing ricotta. They range in size from “cannulicchi”, no bigger than a finger, to the fist-sized proportions typically found in Piana degli Albanesi, south of Palermo, Sicily.
1½ lbs ricotta cheese
1½ cup sugar
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1/8 tsp pure powdered vanilla
1/8 tsp cinnamon
10 Cannoli shells, buy ready-made from Italian pastry shop
In large bowl, with portable electric mixer, beat cheese for one minute. Beat in sugar, 1 minute. Mix in chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon. Refrigerate, covered, 2 hours. With teaspoon, fill shells with ricotta and serve.