Do you love bacon? Do you love dessert? Does a crispy savory shell stuffed with homemade maple and vanilla ricotta and chocolate chips sound like a dream come true? Then read on! I’ll show you how to shape the bacon “cannoli,” how to make the ricotta filling, and how to stuff the shells. I’m guessing you won’t need any help eating them.Jump to Recipe Print Recipe
Make Bacon Cannoli Shells
Start by making the “cannoli” shells. If you have actual cannoli dowels, definitely use those, but I do not. You can improvise by rolling aluminum foil into a long, thin rod. I recommend using regular rather than heavy-duty foil, as it’s more pliable and easier to get the bacon off of after cooking. Line a baking sheet with a sheet of foil as well.
Thick-sliced bacon is your friend for bacon cannoli, as it is sturdier and less likely to break. I used some of my homemade hand-cut bacon, but any thick store brand should work well. Wrap the bacon slices around the tinfoil individually, with a bit of space in between. Make a couple more than you think you’ll need if you haven’t done this before – you might crack a slice or two when you remove them from the cannoli rods. Place the bacon-wrapped foil dowels onto the baking sheet, and then into a cold oven. Turn the oven to 400. Check the bacon five minutes after it preheats, and every few minutes thereafter until it is crisp. Seven minutes after reaching 400 worked for me.
Let the bacon cool for a few minutes, then carefully remove the dowels from the bacon cannoli. If you’re using foil, cutting it into one segment per piece of bacon helps. Compress the foil at one end and slowly slide the bacon cannoli shell off.
Make Ricotta Filling and Stuff Bacon Cannoli
Ready your ricotta. I highly recommend making your own homemade ricotta cheese if you have the time. It only takes about an hour, start to finish, and most of that time is just waiting for the ricotta to drain. Heat the milk before you start shaping the bacon cannoli shells, and by the time they’re out of the oven the cheese will be almost ready as well.
To stuff 10 cannoli, beat 1 cup of ricotta in a stand mixer or with an electric beater. Add 3/4 cup powdered sugar. Remove half of the sweetened ricotta. To the remaining cheese, add 1/4 tsp vanilla. Spoon the vanilla ricotta into a piping bag (I use a ziplock with most of the air squeezed out, then cut off a corner). Add the other half back to the mixing bowl, and beat in 1 Tbsp of pure maple syrup. Spoon into a second piping bag.
Fill the bacon shells with the ricotta filling. Pipe the ricotta in from both ends, and if you have trouble a chopstick can be used to help push the filling inside. Top with a heavy sprinkle of chocolate chips (we like dark chocolate), and a dusting of powdered sugar. Enjoy!
- 10 slices bacon thick-cut preferred
- 1 cup ricotta cheese either homemade or store-bought
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips milk or dark chocolate
Make Bacon Cannoli Shells
- Roll squares of aluminum foil into long rod shapes, or use cannoli rod. Wrap 2-3 slices of bacon around each rod, separated by about 1/2 inch. Place these on aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
- Place baking sheet into cold oven, and turn on to 400F. Once oven reaches temperature, check frequently and remove bacon cannoli once golden brown – approximately 5-7 minutes after oven reaches 400.
- Once cool, separate individual bacon cannoli shells and remove foil rods.
Make Flavored Ricotta
- Beat 1 cup ricotta in stand mixer or mixing bowl. Add powdered sugar. Divide sweetened ricotta in half.
- Add vanilla to half of sweetened ricotta and mix well. Scrape into piping bag (may use plastic bag with one corner cut off). Add maple syrup to second half of ricotta and mix well, then scrape into second piping bag.
- Squeeze ricotta filling into bacon shells. Use chopstick to assist filling in reaching middle if needed, and you may need to fill cannoli from both ends. Fill half of the cannoli with maple ricotta and half with vanilla.
- Top with chocolate chips, and enjoy!