Enjoying an old-world Italian dessert is a blissful experience no one should be without, including those who need gluten-free options. This cannoli recipe is full of all the goodness of the traditional variety, but with a gluten-free shell that is as crispy and light as any you will find in an Italian bakery.

*note: You need a set of cannoli forms to make this dessert. They are available on line and are very inexpensive.

For the Shells:

2 Cups Better Batter Gluten Free Flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 Tablespoons salted butter, diced
1 egg yolk
1/2 Cup sparking white grape juice
butter flavored cooking spray

For the Filling:

1 Cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 Cup whipped cream cheese
2/3 Cup powdered sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch each, ground cloves and nutmeg
1/3 Cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 Cup mini chocolate chips
The zest of one lemon

1 whole egg
1 Tablespoon water

1 quart canola oil for frying

powdered sugar
mini chocolate chips

Start by preparing the shells. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the diced butter and work it into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the egg yolk and the sparkling grape juice. Mix the dough to form a ball. If the dough is too dry, add an extra splash of grape juice. It should resemble the consistency of pie crust. Flatten it into a disk, place it in a gallon sized zip top bag, and place it into the refrigerator to rest.

Prepare the filling by sifting the powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Add the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Add the ricotta and the cream cheese and stir to combine.

In another medium bowl, pour the heavy cream and the vanilla. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whip cream into the ricotta mixture, working quickly so the cream does not deflate. Add the chocolate chips and the lemon zest. Stir to combine and then spoon the mixture into a piping bag (or a gallon sized zip top plastic bag). Refrigerate.

Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and cut it into four equal parts. This will make for easier rolling. Dust the counter with some Better Batter gluten free flour and roll the dough very thin, to about 1/8 inch. Roll in one direction to help prevent cracking. Use a four inch round cookie cutter to cut circles out of the dough, covering them with a damp towel as you go to prevent them from drying out. You will get about 16 cannoli shells.

Heat the oil in a deep saucepan to 350 degrees.

Spray the forms with cooking spray. Mix the egg and water to form a wash. Wrap one circle of dough around each form. Brush the edge with egg wash before folding it over the top, to seal the cannoli. Use your finger-tips to flare the edges out.

Fry shells in oil for two minutes, or until golden brown with small bubbles. Remove shells from the oil and set on a towel. Using a small towel in each hand, grab the mold with one hand and the shell with the other and pull off the mold. Repeat with all the shells and allow them to cool.

Pipe the filling into the shells from each end. Dip the ends into some mini chocolate chips and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately so the shells don’t become soft.