Take a trip to Little Italy without leaving your home kitchen. We’re putting a twist on the classic Sicilian cannoli by mixing all of the traditional ingredients together to make a sweet, creamy dip. Not only is making this dip a lot easier than frying cannoli shells and piping them each individually, but it’s also a great way to make dessert for a crowd. Just put out some bowls and spoons and let people serve themselves scoops of dip with cannoli chips or their favorite fresh fruits (we like to serve ripe, seasonal fruits like pears and apples during the winter and fresh berries in the summer).
Making this dip is almost like whipping up a batch of homemade buttercream frosting. All of the ingredients — ricotta, cream cheese, powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla extract — are beaten in a stand mixer until thick and fluffy. This cannoli dip is just sweet enough without being too sugary. We let most of the sweetness come from the toppings, starting with a quick homemade caramel sauce. A combination of melted sugar, butter and heavy cream turns into a smooth, sticky caramel sauce as it simmers on the stovetop. Don’t forget to stir in a generous pinch of flaky sea salt to balance out all of that sweetness.
Swirl the warm, sticky caramel into the ricotta dip before sprinkling the top with some chopped chocolate and pistachios to mimic a classic cannoli. Serve it with some of our favorite accouterments such as pretzels, crushed waffle cones and brownie bites.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1-1½ teaspoons Maldon sea salt flakes
- 15 ounces whole milk ricotta, room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup crushed pistachios, plus more for garnish
- crushed waffle cones
- brownie crisps
- fresh fruit
For the salted caramel:
In a medium-sized saucepan set over medium heat, add the sugar and stir continuously until melted, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Add the butter and stir until it has melted into the sugar (be careful — the caramel will begin to bubble violently!). Add the cream and stir until combined and smooth. Stir in salt and set aside to cool for 15 to 20 minutes.
For the cannoli dip:1.
In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, whip together the ricotta, cream cheese, vanilla extract and powdered sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and fluffy.2.
Fold in the salted caramel, chocolate chips and pistachios.3.
Transfer to a large serving bowl, top with the salted caramel and serve with pretzels, crushed waffle cones, brownie crisps or fruit. Or place it into an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.