I love, Love, LOVE, cannoli but it’s not often I get downtown to my favorite Italian restaurant to indulge in them. Not only that but the fancy varieties can cost upwards of about $5 each! So this weekend my daughter and I were spending the afternoon together as we do every weekend and we wanted to have a sweet snack after dinner. I asked her if she wanted to make a dessert dip that we could eat with her favorite graham crackers and some crumbled up ice cream cones. She thought this was a great idea (who wouldn’t!).
My daughter is 5-years-old and loves to help in the kitchen. She’s good at following instructions and this is a recipe that small children can easily help with. First, we got right to work straining the ricotta cheese. This is important and must sit for several hours or up to overnight but really makes the recipe. All you do is either place the ricotta into a piece of cheesecloth and place it in a small sieve strainer over a bowl so that the water drains out leaving the ricotta thick and rich. Alternatively, if you don’t have cheesecloth (like me) you can drape a paper towel or two or even a clean, lint free tea towel over the sieve strainer and place the ricotta inside. The paper towel or tea towel will act the same as the cheese cloth in allowing the ricotta to drain excess liquid into the bowl. Check back several hours later and you should notice a visible thickening of the ricotta. You are now ready to make your dip.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure how my daughter would like the end product. I know I love cannoli filling but would she? After all, she doesn’t like much cheese but she was excited to give it a try. I’m excited to report that she gave it an enthusiastic “thumbs up!” That’s a good thing!
Yield 2 cups
- 1 Container (16 oz.) Ricotta, strained or fresh ricotta
- 1 (8oz) package of cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp Vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
- Waffle cones, pizzelle cookies, graham crackers or fresh fruit for dipping
- Add the ricotta and cream cheese into a large bowl and blend well using an electric mixer.
- Add in the sugar and vanilla extract and mix just until well combined.
- Stir in the chocolate chips and pistachios.
- Serve with your choice of fruits, cookies, or ice cream cones.
Straining the ricotta cheese: This is important and should drain for several hours or up to overnight. Place the ricotta into a piece of cheese cloth and place it in a small sieve strainer over a bowl so that the water drains out leaving the ricotta thick and rich. Alternatively, if you don't have cheesecloth (like me) you can drape a paper towel or two or even a clean, lint free tea towel over the sieve strainer and place the ricotta inside. The paper towel or tea towel will act the same as the cheese cloth in allowing the ricotta to drain excess liquid into the bowl.