This Is What You Can Do With Leftover Cannoli Filling

Is your fridge currently holding a leftover mixture of sheep's milk ricotta and superfine sugar? Well, holy cannoli! If somehow, you made the Sicilian dessert (which you've got to try at some point, believe us) and didn't inhale all of the creamy filling meant for the shells straight away, there are many ways you can recycle the sweet, slightly tangy substance without going to the Italian market for more shells or kneading your own cannoli dough.

The most obvious way to use leftover cannoli filling would be to make cute, cannoli-like desserts that are somewhat easier than rolling homemade shells and crisping them in hot oil. To that end, you could make a cheesecake by thickening your filling with cream cheese, gracing it with chocolate chips, and baking it in an amaretti-cookie crust, per Giada De Laurentiis' mascarpone cannoli cheesecake recipe. If you're in the mood for something more advanced, make your own pâte à choux for cannoli cream puffs (via Seasons and Suppers). Piping the cooled puffs with the leftover filling will be the easiest part. Even easier: Freeze your filling for 20 minutes, sandwich it between pretty pizzelle cookies, and roll the edges in chocolate chips or crushed pistachios for a take on the classic ice cream sandwich a la Rachael Ray.

How to turn cannoli filling into something totally different

Actually, your leftover cannoli-cream creation doesn't have to resemble cannoli once everything's said and done. After all, we're talking about a flexible blend of ricotta and sugar. When fruit cravings arise, use your filling as a sweet dip for fruit skewers or in place of yogurt in a parfait. If it's too thick, just whip it with a hand blender, adding milk as needed (via Our Everyday Life). For bite-size fruit treats, hollow out a few strawberries, fill them with the ricotta mixture, and decorate with your choice of chocolate, chopped nuts, lemon zest, or candied fruit (via Foxes Love Lemons).

And since Sicilians often eat cannoli for breakfast (via La Cucina Italiana), who's to say you too can't enjoy oozy sweetened ricotta first thing in the morning? Start your day creatively by layering your cheesy filling in a baked French toast casserole with mini chocolate chips. You could also fold the ricotta into pancake batter for fluffy cannoli flapjacks, according to Snappy Gourmet. Really, when it comes to breakfast foods, there are quite a few ways to work leftover cannoli filling into the meal, from folding it into batters to using it as a uniquely delicious topping. Turns out there definitely isn't just one way to cannoli.