8cannoli shells, homemade or store bought will work
1cupconfectioners' sugar, plus extra for dusting
3/4cupmini chocolate chips, divided
1and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2teaspoonsfresh orange zest
Place the ricotta cheese into a fine mesh strainer and place it in the fridge to drain for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
When you're ready to make the filling:
In a large bowl combine the drained ricotta cheese, confectioners' sugar, 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and orange zest (if using); mix well. Using a spatula, carefully scrape the mixture into pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch open tip. Use at once, or refrigerate until needed; filling can be made up to 24 hours in advance.
When ready to serve, pipe the filling into one end of cannoli shell, filling shell halfway, then pipe into other end. If you don't have a piping bag, you may spoon the filling into the shells. Repeat with remaining shells.
Place remaining mini chocolate chips on a small plate. Dip each end of the cannoli into the chocolate chips, then lightly dust with confectioner's sugar. Serve at once.
The filling may be made and stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Once the cannoli shells have been filling, serve them right away. Cannolis are best eaten the day they are made.