If you have a Nana, she has a cannoli recipe. Maybe she has never written it down for you. Maybe she has never mentioned it. Maybe she has never even made you her secret cream filled pastry of awesomeness. But believe me, if she is half the Italian my Nana is, she has a cannoli recipe. If you ask for it nicely, she may even share.
My Nana’s recipe excluded two of my favorite cannoli filling components (one of which is a recurring theme in my infant blog’s photos): liquor and cinnamon. I amped up her recipe by adding both and dipping the shells in semisweet chocolate, coco jimmies, and silver candy beads.
Nana’s Cannoli Filling with Grand Marnier and Cinnamon
1Ib ricotta cheese
1/2 to 1 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon (adjust for your tastebuds)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. Grand Marnier (or another orange or fruity liquor)
1/4 c. mini semisweet chocolate chips
Combine all ingredients in a bowl or tupperware container. This next step is VERY important: taste your filling. Adjust your liquor and cinnamon in small increments until you are satisfied with the flavors present in the filling. Refrigerate if you are not planning to fill shells and consume immediately. I would plan to use the filling within a week of making it, though I find that like a good marinara, the flavors become much more harmonious after a few days in chilly hibernation.