Looking for a sweet treat simple enough that Daisies and Brownies can make but older Girl Scouts can enjoy as well? Try out this cannoli-inspired fruit dip.
Typical store-bought fruit dip has little to offer beyond sugar and fat. But by using one ingredient, ricotta cheese, you can enjoy a fast fruit dip recipe that bumps up the nutritional value and enjoy a great snack inspired by a favorite Italian dessert.
Cheese In A Sweet Dip?
Ricotta cheese is a popular ingredient in cannolis because of its mild flavor and creamy texture. Ricotta cheese, which is light and creamy, has 4 grams of protein and 179 mg of calcium in 1/4 cup. Regular ricotta cheese has 4 grams of fat per 1/4 cup, and lower-fat versions are available.
It is made from whey, which is a byproduct of cheese-making, and has a slightly sweet taste that complements the sweetness of the other ingredients in the filling.
Ricotta cheese is also relatively low in fat compared to other cheeses, making it a healthier option for cannoli filling. Its smooth and creamy texture blends well with the other ingredients, creating a delicious and well-balanced filling for the crispy cannoli shell.
Never Enjoyed A Cannoli?
If you’ve never had the chance to try a cannoli, this cannoli fruit dip recipe is a great way to introduce the concept without having to track down cannoli shells at the store.
This dip is inspired by cannolis, a wonderful, traditional Italian dessert that consists of a crispy fried pastry shell filled with a sweet, creamy filling usually made from ricotta cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. The pastry shell is usually tube-shaped, and can be either crunchy or slightly soft, depending on how it’s prepared.
Cannoli filling is often mixed with chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or candied fruit, which gives it a delightful texture and flavor. The ends of the pastry shell are often dipped in pistachios or chopped chocolate, which adds an extra layer of flavor and crunch.
With this cannoli dip recipe, we’re paring back the ingredients, and offering your Girl Scouts some Italian-inspired flavors to enjoy with their fruit.
- 8 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla (You can add more vanilla for flavor, though it will turn your dip a slightly beige or tan color.)
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Chill or serve immediately.
Serve with strawberries, graham crackers, extra Trefoil cookies or animal crackers.
You can make this snack gluten-free by ensuring you are using gluten-free chocolate chips and by serving with fruits or gluten-free graham crackers.
Girl Scout Badge Tie-Ins
While my Girl Scouts would argue that there is never a bad time for chocolate, cooking activities like making this cannoli dip can be part of Girl Scout badge tie-ins, including:
- Brownie Snacks badge
- Junior Simple Meals badge
- Cadette Eating For You badge
- Senior Locavore badge – particularly if you have a farmer’s market or dairy nearby!
- Ambassador Dinner Party badge