Preparation time: 1-1/2 hours
Cooking time: 5 minutes plus cooling
Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 22 servings
â€¢1/2 cup butter, cubed
â€¢1/2 cup sugar
â€¢3 tablespoons molasses
â€¢1 teaspoon ground ginger
â€¢1/4 teaspoon salt
â€¢1 cup all-purpose flour
â€¢2 tablespoons brandy
â€¢1-1/2 cups ricotta cheese
â€¢3 tablespoons grated orange peel
â€¢3 tablespoons sugar, divided
â€¢1-1/2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips, divided
â€¢1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
â€¢In a small saucepan, combine the first five ingredients. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from the heat. Stir in flour and brandy; keep warm.
â€¢ Drop tablespoonfuls of batter onto a parchment paper-lined or well-greased baking sheet; spread each into a 4-in. circle. Bake at 350° for 5-6 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool for about 1 minute or just until cookie starts to firm.
â€¢ Working quickly, loosen each cookie and curl around a metal cannoli tube to shape. Remove cookies from tubes; cool on wire racks.
â€¢ For filling, in a large bowl, combine the ricotta, orange peel and 1 tablespoon sugar; stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. In a small bowl, beat cream on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Fold into ricotta mixture. Chill until serving.
â€¢ Just before serving, pipe filling into cannoli shells. Dip ends in remaining chocolate chips. Yield: about 2 dozen.