I’ve always been of the mindset that you can never have too much of a good thing. In fact, sometimes having too much of a good thing can yield some pretty amazing ideas. You see, I had a wicked craving for cannolis not too long ago so off to the store I went to gather my necessary ingredients. Truth be told, I only came home with the cannoli filling ingredients because what I really wanted that day was just to eat the filling with a spoon. (Don’t judge me!)
The next day, having had my fill of cannolis and my craving satisfied there was a lot of filling left over. By this time I had realized that clearly I had no business eating all that cannoli filling and realistically, if I left it in the refrigerator then slowly but surely that’s exactly what would have happened. So what to do? As the morning progressed I had a brilliant idea!
I’ve made ricotta pancakes before and what is cannoli filling but sweetened ricotta? This particular batch of filling had chocolate chips in it also. I’ve made chocolate chip pancakes before. The more I thought about it, the better it sounded! So I set about giving it a try. Low and behold, I created a wonderfully moist, light and just slightly sweet pancake. These cannoli pancakes were absolutely heavenly! They didn’t even need syrup. A simple sprinkle of powdered sugar over the top finished them off nicely.
After the fact, I did a little research to see if this was a pretty original idea. While looking around I found plenty of pancakes topped with cannoli filling or pancakes rolled and stuffed with cannoli filling but no recipes that incorporated the filling into the batter. On that note, I did later put a little dollop of leftover filling on top of the pancakes and it really was a nice addition. This is now one of my favorite breakfast dishes!
*The filling is a recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse. Nothing against Emeril, but I found this recipe to be a little thin however, since I wasn’t filling shells it didn’t matter. Perhaps it was operator error though and I may not have whipped the cream enough. Either way, the thinner filling works really well in the pancake batter. If using the filling for cannoli shells I would reduce the heavy cream by at least half or possibly omit it all together or make sure you whip the cream a lot, which I did not do.*
Cannoli Filling Ingredients:
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 lb ricotta
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp nut-flavored liqueur (I used almond extract since I was sharing with Maddy. Tasted great!)
1 c. chocolate chips
Pancake Batter Ingredients:
1 c. prepared cannoli filling (you will have a bunch of the above recipe left over so eat it with a spoon… it’s delightful! Or you could put it into cannoli shells too, I suppose)
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp sour cream
3/4 c. flour
1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 c. whole milk
2 eggs whites
Make the Cannoli Filling:
- In a mixing bowl whip the cream a bit then fold in the ricotta until creamy. Next, fold in the nut-flavored liqueur, sugar and chocolate chips.
Make the Pancakes:
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cannoli filling and sour cream.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not over mix!
- Stir in the milk.
- In a glass or metal bowl, beat the eggs whites using an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Again, do not over mix!
- Heat a griddle over medium heat, spoon a small amount of batter for each pancake onto the hot griddle and cook about 3 minutes per side. (*Note: I noticed these pancakes didn’t seem to form bubbles and get dry at the edges like regular pancakes so be sure to be on the watch for burning.)
- Dollop a bit of cannoli filling on top of finished pancakes and dust with powdered sugar. (Dollop not pictured but I assure you, the pancakes were better with it.)