These pizzelle cannolis are a combination of two classic Italian desserts and one of them (cannoli’s) happens to be a favorite of mine! A classic cannoli has a deep fried shell but this pizzelle version adds so much flavor and doesn’t require frying like the traditional cannoli shells. Not to mention, the creamy ricotta filling is melt-in-your-mouth smooth and the mini chocolate chips are perfect addition of sweetness!
Why you should make pizzelle cannoli:
This cannoli recipe is a leveled up version of two original Italian desserts, pizzelle cookies and cannolis. The crispy shell in this version is perfectly golden brown and flavorful with the cannoli filling being more traditional from the smooth and dreamy ricotta cream. These cannolis are a labor of love but so delicious that it’s completely worth the time and effort.
Ingredients you’ll need:
For the pizzelle batter:
- Granulated sugar
- Vegetable oil
- All-purpose flour
- Pure vanilla extract
- Pure anise extract OR almond extract
For the filling:
- Whole milk ricotta cheese: I like Galbani brand
- Powdered sugar
- Pure vanilla extract
- Mini chocolate chips: I like semi-sweet for this but you can use dark chocolate too!
How to make pizzelle cannoli:
- Make the pizzelle cookie batter.
- Allow the batter to chill in the fridge.
- Cook the pizzelle cookies using a pizzelle maker.
- While they’re hot, roll them into tubes and let them firm up.
- Combine the ingredients for the ricotta filling.
- Using a pastry bag, pipe the filling to the pizzelle shells.
- Dip each end of the pizzelle cannoli into chocolate chips and dust the tops with powdered sugar.
Anise extract comes from the spice known as star anise and has a slightly sweet, licorice flavor and is found in many baked goods all over the world. A 1:1 substitute for anise exact would be licorice flavoring. If you don’t enjoy the flavor of anise or can’t find it at your local grocery store, feel free to leave it out completely or substitute it with almond extract.
These irons are actually more common than you may think. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can find smaller irons are stores like Target, Bed Bath and Beyond and Williams-Sonoma. If you are in the market for something larger or more specific, I would recommend shopping online or looking at what Amazon has to offer. These irons can range anywhere from 10 to 50 dollars and are definitely worth the small investment!
The best way to make these ahead of time is by cooking and forming the pizzelles and storing them in an airtight container. Do the same thing for the ricotta filling. I highly recommended only filling the shells right before you are ready to eat them so that they stay crisp on the outside. If you assemble these hours in advance, you will end up with soggy pizzelle shells.
- 1 Pizzelle iron
- 6 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp pure anise extract amount will vary depending on brand
For the filling:
- 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese I like Galbani brand
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips semi-sweet
- Start by making the pizzelle batter. You'll need to crack 6 eggs into a large bowl, then pour in the sugar, oil and mix well.
- Add in the flour and mix again just until all the flour is combined.
- Lastly, add in the vanilla and anise extracts and mix one more time. I recommend tasting the batter here to make sure the level of anise flavor is good (you may need to add more depending on the brand you use). If you are using almond extract, start with 1/2 tsp, then taste and adjust to your liking. The finished batter should be the consistency of waffle batter.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap directly touching the batter to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Once the batter is chilled, heat your pizzelle iron and lightly grease with oil (spray works best). Using a 2 inch cookie scoop, scoop a few tablespoons of batter onto each side of the iron.
- Press the iron down and allow the pizzelles to cook for about 1 minute. While still warm, bend each pizzelle into a tube shape with one side overlapping the other and secure with a toothpick. If you have one, you could also form these around a wooden dowel rod. Transfer the shells to a cooling rack to cool and firm up.
- Repeat this process until all the batter is used.
- The pizzelles only take about a minute to cool so by the time the batter is used up, the pizzelle shells will be set and you can remove the toothpicks.
- For the filling, combine the ricotta, powdered sugar, a vanilla.
- Fold in the mini chocolate chips and transfer the filling to a piping bag.
- Working from one side of the shell, pipe in the filling until it reaches the center, then do the same for the other side. You'll know you've piped enough filling in when the cannoli feels heavy.
- If you like, you can dip the ends in extra chocolate chips and/or dust the tops with powdered sugar!