Cannoli Christmas Trees

Cannoli Christmas Trees

  • cannoli stars (large and small)
  • raspberry ricotta filling
  • white chocolate ricotta filling
  • pistachio ricotta filling
  • pistachios, chopped
  • icing sugar
  • pomegranates
  1. Place one large cannoli star onto serving plate. Top with raspberry ricotta. Top with another large star and add a dollop of white chocolate ricotta. Top with one more large star and top that with  pistachio ricotta. Sprinkle with additional chopped pistachios and stick a small cannoli star into the ricotta point side down.
  2. Sprinkle with icing sugar and pomegranates if desired. Serve immediately.

Cannoli Stars

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar*
  • 1/2 cup wine (Marsala is what is traditional used)*
  • Vegetable or any neutral oil for frying (2 inches deep)
  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer or food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the oil, vinegar, and enough of the wine to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and well blended, about 2 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge from 2 hours to overnight.
  2. Cut the dough into two pieces. Keep the remaining dough covered while you work. Lightly flour work surface and roll the dough until super thin, about 1/16 to 1/8” thick (An area of about 13 inches by 18 inches should give you that). Cut out 4 inch star shapes as well as 2 inch star shapes. Cover with a damp towel and let sit for several minutes to help keep the dough from shrinking.
  3. In a deep heavy saucepan, pour enough oil to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil to 375°F (190 °C), or until a small piece of the dough or bread cube placed in the oil sizzles and browns in 1 minute. Have ready a tray or sheet pan lined with paper towels.
  4. Dock the cannoli with a fork, making sure to go all the way through. This is to avoid the cannoli from puffing up in the centre. Carefully lower a few of the cannoli stars into the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. Fry until lightly golden, about 2 minutes, turning them so that they brown evenly. Remove to paper towel lined tray to cool.

* I substituted the wine with apple juice and upped the vinegar to 1 Tbsp to make up for the lost acidity.

Raspberry, White Chocolate & Pistachio Fillings

  • 1 cup dry ricotta (or half this recipe)
  • 2/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp. each, chopped pistachios, chopped white chocolate, crushed raspberries
  1. Cream together ricotta, sugar, cinnamon and zest until smooth.
  2. Whip cream to soft peaks and fold into ricotta.
  3. Divide into 3 bowls. In one bowl fold in pistachios, in another fold in white chocolate, and in last fold in raspberries.

* If you want more vibrant colors feel free to add some food coloring.

* You can use fresh or frozen (and thawed) raspberries for this filling.