I’m a Wisconsinite born in a Floridian’s life…my parents moved here in their 20s and had me while living down here, making me a natural-born Floridian who longed to return to my “real home” in Dairy Country. I visit our family up there every chance I get, and on one of my recent trips my cousin Linnea Berg (who entered a banh-mi that would accompany my cannoli rather well) turned me on to the greatest bacon ever. We stopped at the Nueske’s store and I ended up flying home with 17lbs of vac-sealed bacon ends and pieces, along with several other pounds of meat treats. I think TSA was boggled that flight… So bacon ends and pieces have been making their way into everything I make since, and when I saw the Amateur Bacon Cook-off I knew I had to enter. My father stole my stuffed pepper recipe and “tweaked it” so I thought I’d do a sweet/savory dish to compliment it. Somehow, cannoli came to mind, and thus was born the bacon cannoli. I knew the bacon had to be in both the shell and the filling. Having never made cannoli, I figured it was hopefully in my blood since I’m Italian. I started with a basic dough, substituting solidified bacon fat for the butter and adding in crispy cooked ground ends and pieces at the end.  The filling is a mascarpone cheese spiked with liquid bacon fat, powdered sugar, whiskey, and more crumbled bacon. Once filled, the ends are rolled in chopped bourbon-glazed pecans instead of the traditional chocolate chips. What resulted was a sweet cannoli with nice salty bacon hints. Perfect end to a bacon-laden meal!

Cannoli dough (flour, sugar, egg, bacon fat, small bit of white wine)
Mascarpone cheese
Powdered sugar
Whiskey (either Canadian Club or Jack Daniels)
Ground Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Bacon ends & pieces
Homemade bourbon-glazed pecans (Makers Mark, sugar, butter)