Browsing Tag

sweet

Pizzelle

pizzelle

Welcome to the December edition of Cucina Conversations! This month, we made our theme a little broader and are bringing you Italian recipes that are perfect for sharing and gift-giving during the Christmas season. I love baking year-round, but I really love baking during the holidays. The Christmas music comes on Thanksgiving Day, I spend a day or two with my nose in my cookbooks deciding which recipes to make for my annual cookie gift tins, and then my kitchen turns into a cookie-making factory for a solid two weeks (or more). Gifting homemade cookies from my kitchen to our dearest […]

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Almond Cantuccini

almond cantuccini

I always take a hiatus from baking sweets over the summer. I don’t shun the oven entirely, since many of our favorite meals are cooked in the oven: roast chicken, flank steak, and these tomatoes. But except for the occasional crostata, baked sweets take a back seat during the summer months in favor of bottomless bowls of fresh fruit or ice cream for dessert. A couple of weeks ago, I started to miss my regular cookie-baking routine, so I pulled out my baking sheets and cooling racks and baked a batch of Emiko Davie’s almond cantuccini. Even though the word biscotti is the correct word for referring […]

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Ricotta and Lemon Ciambellone

ricotta and lemon ciambellone

I’ve recently added several wonderful Italian cookbooks to my ever-growing cookbook shelves. One of the first cookbooks I bought for myself this year was Rachel Roddy’s My Kitchen in Rome: Recipes and Notes on Italian Cooking. I pre-ordered it as soon as it was available and then waited eagerly for what seemed like an eternity, but the wait was well worth it. I’ve been reading Rachel’s blog for several years and am also a faithful reader of her new weekly column in The Guardian. Her photos on Instagram are some of my favorites, particularly those of her now very famous sink, which is often […]

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Cherry Jam Crostata

Cherry Jam Crostata

Happy Valentine’s Day! When given the choice between a chocolate dessert and a fruit dessert, I’ll choose a fruit dessert every time. I like chocolate well enough, but I often find it heavy on my palate. On the other hand, I relish the bright, tart, and lightly sweet flavors of fruit-based desserts like this cherry jam crostata. When we were in Rome several years ago, I snapped this photo while walking past a pasticceria (pastry shop). As you can see, crostata is a popular dessert in Italy. Crostata is both simple and elegant in its presentation, and a dessert I grew up eating often. […]

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How to Make Italian Sweet Pastry Dough

Pasta Frolla

Today, I’m introducing you to pasta frolla, an Italian sweet pastry dough. It is also known as shortcrust pastry. Pasta frolla is the base for many Italian desserts, especially crostata, a tart filled with fruit preserves or pastry cream (sometimes both), or even Nutella. Pasta frolla is also the dough of choice for pastiera napoletana, a traditional Italian Easter dessert, as well as delicate cookies that Italians call frollini. Once baked, pasta frolla is both tender and flaky, almost like shortbread, but less dense. The milk solids from the butter contribute not only to the texture of pasta frolla, but also to its rich, delicious flavor. […]

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