Dicembre Dolce

Dicembre Dolce: Coffee-Hazelnut Chifferi

Do you have a favorite cookie, one that you absolutely cannot do without during the holidays? In our family, that cookie was my mother’s hazelnut crescents. She had gotten the recipe from a German neighbor but they were just like the nut crescents known as “chifferi” found in parts of northern Italy. Ultra-rich, crumbly, buttery, […]

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Dicembre Dolce: Lina’s Ciambelline

Note to those local to the DC area: I will be at the University Club of Washington, D.C.’s 26th Annual Meet the Author Night & Book Fair tonight, Dec. 2. Sixty authors and a fun, festive atmosphere. I’ll be signing copies of Ciao Biscotti. Come by and say hi! * * * * * * […]

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Dicembre Dolce: Italian(ish) Chocolate Bark

OK, I know chocolate bark isn’t Italian. It was invented by Williams-Sonoma. Or maybe California as a way of marketing dried fruit. Either way, chocolate + dried fruit = holiday heaven in my book. Add nuts and you really send me over the moon. So I made some bark. And since it is my mission […]

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Dicembre Dolce: Cranberry-Hazelnut Biscotti

I have my issues with social media (don’t we all) but there are times when I appreciate ~ even enjoy ~ it. Like when a spontaneous cookie exchange breaks out on Facebook. That is what happened to Linda, Adri, Marie and me a couple of weeks ago. One minute we were all commenting on a […]

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Dicembre Dolce: Torta Ubriaca

I love this cake for two reasons. First, it combines chocolate and red wine, two of my favorite ingredients. Second, the recipe was given to me by my friend Marta Carrozza. Marta and her husband, Alessandro Maceroni, own Il Marchese del Grillo, a bed-and-breakfast in the heart of Sulmona. The small B & B has […]

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Dicembre Dolce: Torta di Nocciole

Welcome to the 2014 edition of Dicembre Dolce. This is the month in which I post recipes for fabulous Italian sweets. We’re kicking off the season with an elegant torta di nocciole, hazelnut cake, a specialty of the Piemonte region. This cake has been on my mind since I enjoyed a slice a couple of weeks ago […]

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Dicembre Dolce: Pandoro Tiramisu

I’ve always felt that the problem with tiramisu is that it contains lady fingers, those weightless batons of dried sponge cake that hold little flavor and even less appeal. Is it any wonder that you have to submerge them in a sea of pastry cream and mascarpone to make them palatable? Savoiardi, the Italian version of […]

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Dicembre Dolce: Celli Ripieni {Jam-Filled Cookies from Abruzzo}

Jam- and nut-filled cookies are a traditional Christmas treat in Abruzzo and other parts of Italy. In our house, these cookies took the form of my mother’s calcionelli ~ fried half-moon pillows of sweet dough filled with ground nuts and honey and flavored with citrus zest. She fried them on Christmas morning and we ate them, still […]

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Dicembre Dolce: Panna Cotta alle Spezie

Raise your hand if… * yours is always the last house on the cul de sac to put up holiday lights. * you have yet to buy ~ let alone decorate ~ a tree. * the only batch of Christmas cookies you baked is long gone and you have yet to bake more. * haven’t […]

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