Easy *chocolate-dipped* Cannoli

One of my favorite blogs to read is Sugarcrafter. Tracy makes delectable food and her pictures are just gorgeous. When she made cannoli a few months back, I tucked it away as a "must make."

{I keep threatening to show up on Tracy's doorstep for dinner...she thinks I'm kidding...}

Now, if you are Italian, or live near an Italian bakery, you may want to look away, because I used....pre-made cannoli shells. I've never had homemade shells and for a Texas girl who ate her first cannoli two years ago, these are pretty (or should I say pur-dy) darn good.

For the dipped ends:

1/2 c. chocolate chips
1 TBSP shortening
handful chopped pistachios

Line a cookie sheet with waxed or parchment paper. In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips and shortening on 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.

Dip each end of the cannoli shells in the chocolate and then dip into the chopped pistachios. Pop in the fridge to set up and until ready to fill.

To make the filling:
(original recipe from Sugarcrafter)

1 & 1/2 pounds ricotta cheese
1 c mini chocolate chips
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla
2-3 TBSP orange zest

Combine all of the ingredients. Place in a piping bag fitted with a large tip and fill in the cannoli shells.

{First, I used this tip: Wilton 4B....it didn't work.}

{This one worked...Ateco 828}

Place the filled shells in the refrigerator until ready you're ready to eat them.

{It's a good idea to test one, or at least eat the extra filling.} ;)

I think these are a perfect make-ahead dessert for company. They look so pretty, the filling tastes bright and fresh with the orange zest and they couldn't be simpler.

{And, Tracy, I'll be there next Tuesday. ;)}

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