Can't find cannoli shells at your local supermarket and don't feel like baking your own? No problem! With this recipe, sugar cones replace the cannoli shells. They're widely available and taste almost like the real thing. And the filling is a snap to prepare. The secret is to make sure you let the ricotta cheese drain well. That's what makes the filling so creamy.
Don't fill the ice cream cones in advance, or they could get soggy. But you can make the filling several hours or even up to a day in advance. Just cover, and refrigerate. Right before serving, fill the shells.
- 1 pint ricotta cheese (part-skim is okay)
- 3/4 to 1 cup confectioner's sugar, depending on how sweet you like it
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. orange zest
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for garnish
- 12 sugar cones
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts
- Place the ricotta cheese in a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl in the refrigerator. Let it drain for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight. Discard the liquid in the bowl.
- In a medium bowl, mix the drained ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup of the confectioner's sugar, vanilla, orange zest and the 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips. Taste, and add more sugar if desired. If making in advance, cover the filling and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, use a spoon, a pastry bag or a zipper-sealed gallon-size plastic bag with the bottom tip cut off to fill the ice cream cones with the cannoli filling.
- Spread the finely-chopped pistachio nuts on a plate. Dip the cannoli filling into the pistachios. Or dip them into the remaining mini chocolate chips instead. Serve immediately.