There are some foods that I’ve always loved, but have been terrified of making for myself. Whether it’s French macarons or sprouted bread, I’ll gladly shell out money for someone else to take the trouble to beat egg whites until their arms hurt or lord over a farm of sprouting wheat berries and lentils.

            There’s also the issue of “healthifying” these recipes. Often, the ingredients that we want to change are the ones that give the dish its defining characteristics. I mean, have you ever tried to make sugar-free, vegan marshmallows? (It goes about as well as you might expect.)           
So naturally, we thought that making cannolis would go down in same disastrous way. And since buying premade shells was obviously out of the question, we had resigned ourselves to live cannoli-free for the rest of our lives.

So you can imagine our surprise and delight when we found this recipe with easy to follow, step-by-step instructions on how to create those delicious, flaky shells. The following recipes are not complicated, but the assembly takes a little bit of finesse. Our best advice is to invest in a stainless-steel cannoli shell form. It’ll cost you no more than 6 dollars on Amazon and (unlike us) you’ll save yourself from breathing toxic plastic fumes all night (the things we’ll do in pursuit of the perfect picture). If you’re dying to try these sugar-free cannolis and just can’t wait for the UPS guy to arrive, cut the dough into small chips, deep fry them, and use the mascarpone filling as a delicious dip.

Atlantis wanted to make a cameo.


1 1/3 cups white flour
2 tbsp. butter
1 pinch salt
white wine (sweet or dry)
vegetable oil

16 oz. mascarpone cheese
18 dates
1 tsp. almond extract
3 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, minced

CRUST (Adapted from
In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, butter, and salt. Add enough wine to create a stiff but workable dough. Roll the dough into a ball and let it stand for about 1 hour.

After 1 hour, roll the dough until it’s ¼ inch thick. Cut the dough into 5x5 inch squares. Place the tube in the diagonal middle of the square and wrap one corner around the tube, then wrap the other so it overlaps the first. Press to seal the seam.

Pan-fry each shell until golden brown, turning as necessary to keep any one side from burning. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely before removing shell from the tube. Fill with mascarpone cheese.

In a food processor, blend dates into a paste. Add almond extract and mascarpone cheese and pulse until smooth. In a medium bowl, mix the cheese with the minced baking chocolate. Fill shells.

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