Use Leftover Ice Cream Cones For A Fun Twist On Cannolis

cannoli cones
cannoli cones - SugarHero!/YouTube

Whether you want to dig into your Italian roots or are looking for a fun and filling dessert, a Sicilian cannoli is a great pick. These sweets are made by folding a pastry dough into a tube shape and deep-frying it -- or even making it in the air fryer for an oil-free alternative -- to give them a crispy texture and golden color. Then, they're filled with a sweet ricotta cheese filling.

The only trouble with making cannolis is that they can be tricky to assemble. Folding and frying without breaking your cannoli shells or causing them to collapse can be difficult, and you can wind up with treats that are less than sightly. At the same time, it's also a time-consuming process.

The good news is that there's a much easier alternative to traditional cannoli shells: ice cream cones. This substitution achieves the same crunchy texture but doesn't require slaving away in the kitchen. Plus, they're sturdy enough to hold your cannoli filling. Even better, they're easy to hold when you eat them, saving you from accidentally pushing the ricotta cheese out one end of the cannoli and making a mess.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

What Cones To Use For Your Cannoli

Stack of flavored ice cream cones
Stack of flavored ice cream cones - Roberto Sorin/Shutterstock

There are three main types of ice cream cones: waffle cones, sugar cones, and cake cones. Cake cones are the most plain, offering a neutral backdrop for your ricotta. They also have a softer, more wafer-like texture than a traditional cannoli shell. Another option is waffle cones, which have a crisp and lightly sweet, buttery flavor. While the taste may most closely resemble a traditional cannoli tube, these cones also have an open rim, unlike the flat brim of a sugar cone. This, paired with the fact that artisanal waffle cones sometimes are folded so there's a hole at the bottom, can lead to the ricotta filling oozing out. That's why sugar cones may be the sweet spot -- you get a good amount of crunch and sweet flavor, and they're the right size for one person. Additionally, since they're made with molasses, they have a golden, toasty flavor that can mimic that of deep-fried cannoli tubes.

Beyond the style of cone, you can also choose flavored varieties. For example, you could go for chocolate cones or chocolate-dipped cones. Since traditional cannoli is decorated with chocolate chips, this can be a fun way to incorporate a similar flavor. You can also use cones decorated with sprinkles or nuts, adding crunch and creating a more aesthetic dessert.

Get Creative With Your Cannoli Filling, Too

Plate of flavored cannoli
Plate of flavored cannoli - prfrnt/Shutterstock

It's not just the cones that can change how your dessert tastes. You can also get creative with a traditional cannoli filling, adding unique mix-ins and ingredients. For instance, you could add rose water to your filling to give it a light floral flavor. This can work well if you're using a plain ice cream cone, as the simplicity allows the delicate taste to shine through. A similar floral option might be to use lavender essence.

You can also play around with fruit mix-ins. Raspberry preserves, for instance, can add tart notes to the dessert. Or, you could try something like apricot for a citrusy, stone-fruit flavor. Another option might be to add chopped fruit, such as pineapple, adding texture and taste when you bite into your cannoli.

If you're serving cannolis to an adults-only crowd, you can also infuse the filling with booze. A bit of Bailey's can work well against a chocolate cone, for instance, while something like Grand Marnier might work if you're adding fruit preserves to your filling. Another choice could be a vanilla vodka to add a more neutral flavor or a spiced rum paired with warming spices like cardamom and cinnamon. Pair these filling suggestions with the perfect ice cream cone and you can make creative and quick cannolis.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.