Tag | Christmas

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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Baked Pandoro French Toast

It’s not often I have leftover Pandoro. Everyone in my family loves it so it doesn’t last long. I still have a clear image in my mind of my son at age 1, toddling around in a blue and white striped one-piece thingie with a sailboat on it, clutching a giant piece of Pandoro in […]

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Buon Natale

Dear Friends, I want to thank you all for reading, and especially for sticking with me in what turned out to be an off-kilter year ~ starting with that bizarre kitchen injury last January. I feel like I spent the rest of 2012 trying to catch up but always three steps behind. I hope you’ll […]

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Dicembre Dolce: Cherry Republic Biscotti

There is more than one way to slice biscotti. There are at least sixty. Or there will be when I’m through with them. Which is a roundabout way of saying I’ve just started work on a new book project. Subject: Biscotti. It won’t be an exhaustive project ~ just a fun little homage to one […]

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Dicembre Dolce: La Cicerchiata

Fabulous photo by France Ruffenach for Chronicle Books Fried dough pellets glued together with honey to form a ring. That, in essence, is la cicerchiata, a traditional dessert from Italy’s Abruzzo region. There is nothing subtle or sophisticated about it. And yet, it is impossible to resist. Here is what will happen if you set […]

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Dicembre Dolce: Panforte di Siena

For most of my life—right up until last week—I despised panforte, the celebrated Christmas fruit-and-nut confection from Siena. Every year at about this time, a flat, sort-of circular pleated package containing a dense hockey puck of a—what? Was it a cake? a torte? candy?—would appear on our buffet, purchased by my mother. She would unwrap […]

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Dicembre Dolce {Sweet December}

Photo by Maren Caruso, from Williams-Sonoma Rustic Italian (2011, Weldon-Owen)   I do not have a sweet tooth. Nine times out of ten I will choose a second helping of pasta over dessert. Except in December. December was made for sweets—sweet breads, boozy cakes, spiced pies, and cookies—cookies piped with icing, festooned with sprinkles, dipped in melted chocolate, […]

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Pandoro: A Holiday Bread to Trifle With

Panettone, the sweet, yeasted domed Italian holiday bread studded with raisins and candied fruit, has legions of fans in Italy and around the globe. I, however, am partial to the other Italian holiday bread: Pandoro. Pandoro (the word means ‘golden bread’ in Italian) is a tall, star-shaped leavened sweet bread that is produced in Verona, […]

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Christmas Eve Calamari on Leite’s Culinaria

(photo by William Meppem for Chronicle Books) What does Christmas smell like to you? Maybe it’s the sharp, resinous scent of freshly cut pine trees or the warm, enveloping fragrance of cinnamon and nuts in freshly baked cookies. But to me, Christmas smells like squid…Read more about my favorite Christmas Eve dish on Leite’s Culinaria.

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