This is the very easy traditional recipe which is the same filling everyone enjoys in the Italian Cannoli pastry dessert.
Sometimes we want to just enjoy the filling of a cannoli so this dip is the perfect party dip.
A special treat, serve this cannoli dip for holidays and special occasions – family celebrations, game day gatherings or add it to a buffet table for bridal and baby showers.
The dip is easy to make and a hand mixer is the only equipment you will need. For the filling you’ll need ricotta, mascarpone (or you can use cream cheese, though it is not traditional in this recipe), vanilla or anise extract, lemon zest and confectioner’s sugar.
TIP: The one step you need to do in advance for this dip is to drain the ricotta for a few hours. To do that empty the ricotta from the container into cheese cloth and place it in a strainer over a bowl so that the water drains.
You can use either Cream Cheese or Mascarpone. I used Mascarpone for a traditional flavor along with Anise extract but you can substitute Vanilla extract for the Anise.
- 1 Container ( 15 oz.) Ricotta (low fat or skimmed is fine) strained (see TIP above)
- 8 oz. cream cheese or 1/2 cup Mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 - 2/ 3 cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting if desired
- 2 TBLS. Anise extract (or use Vanilla extract)
- 2 tsp. lemon zest
- 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios or walnuts (optional)
- Waffle cones, pizzelle cookies, fresh fruit for dipping
- Add the ricotta and cream cheese or mascarpone into a large bowl and blend well using a hand mixer.
- Add in the sugar and extracts and mix just until well combined.
- Stir in the lemon zest, chocolate chips and chopped citron if using.
- Add to a serving bowl and sprinkle a few more chips on top.
- Serve with your choice of "dippers".
For dippers you can break up cannoli shells, pizzelle cookies or waffle cones — this is a “very” non-traditional and casual way to serve cannoli, No?
You can also cut up fresh fruits, strawberries, peaches, pears for dipping.
For the cookie lover you can make Cannoli Sandwich Cookies