Do you love cannolis as much as I do? Are you with me on especially loving the rich, creamy ricotta filling spiced with cinnamon and dusted with chocolate? And do you wish having cannolis was as easy as stirring together a few ingredients in a bowl? Well then, I think this ricotta cannoli dip is ready to answer all your questions! All the filling and almost none of the work.
One of my favorite desserts has always been cannolis. Even with a big, Italian family around me, cannolis were few and far between during my childhood. Which made them such a special treat! These days I can have one whenever I want, either from the store or when I’m in the mood to make my own, but there is still something special about them!
However, supermarket cannolis can be a bit sad and I don’t necessarily want to spend my time deep-frying cannoli shells, so I’ve been looking for an easier way to have all the taste without all the work. I’ve had a few ideas, and first up for posting is to turn cannolis into a dip!
I mean, why not?
This past spring I made a Strawberry Shortcake Dip (which I love!) since I was looking for all the fun and flavor of strawberry shortcake without all the work. It seemed perfect to turn cannoli into a dip too! However, the idea stayed in the back of my mind as just a thought until I was walking through my local market, and I saw them. Cannoli chips (from Golden Cannoli)! And I’m going to say darn tasty cannoli chips – dusted with confectioners’ sugar or with cinnamon sugar. It was a sign!
Tip: While cannoli chips are very tasty, you can use all sorts of lightly sweetened, crispy chips and crackers with this dip! Try it with broken waffle cones, graham crackers, or pizzelles (Italian wafer cookies).
I couldn’t ignore this sign. So, I grabbed a couple of boxes of cannoli chips, snagged some ricotta, and set to experimenting with recipes.
First, I tried ricotta and mascarpone mixed together. It wasn’t bad, but I did need to whip the cheeses together so they would be fully mixed and I decided I was much more of an all ricotta kind of girl. The mascarpone just made the dip a little too rich for me. Feel free to mix in some mascarpone if you wish! The final result will be quite creamy and smooth.
Next, I went with all ricotta and started tasting the dip while I added various flavors. It didn’t take me long to settle on a recipe with lots of cinnamon, a dash of cloves, and a bit of vanilla. That has just the right spice kick with a mellow after burn from the vanilla.
Last, I needed to decide on the chocolate! Mini chocolate chips are great and I would recommend them if you want a totally quick and easy dip, but the more rustic, chopped chocolate really appealed to me. This way you can use whatever brand and style of chocolate you want, and you get the pleasure of all sorts of teeny, chopped pieces along with larger chunks. This way every bite can have a little chocolate flavor!
– Happy Dipping, Annemarie
- 15 oz ricotta
- 2 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp vanilla
- broken waffle cones, graham crackers, pizzelle cookies, cannoli chips
Line a fine mesh strainer with paper towels and scoop the ricotta into the strainer to let it drain for a few minutes while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
Finely chop the bittersweet chocolate so that the larger pieces are about the size of a mini chocolate chip.
Combine the drained ricotta, confectioners' sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla in a bowl and mix well. Add half of the chocolate and stir it in. Sprinkle the other half over the top of the dip.
Serve the ricotta dip with cannoli chips, graham crackers, pizzelle cookies, or broken waffle cones.
The draining step is important for natural, unstabilized ricotta. Check your ingredient label. If it is just milk, vinegar, and salt, drain the ricotta before proceeding. If it contains gums and stabilizers, it is designed not to drain, so skip to the next step.
If you wish, replace the chopped chocolate with mini chocolate chips.