December 5, 2010

Xmas Sweets

I started baking for the holidays, hoping to participate with my friend Cata on a blogging event, but life got in the way and I couldn't arrange for us to actually meet to hand-over some gingerbread dough for the blog event, aggiunge un Blogger a Tavola, so decided to just post the recipes I try as I go along!

I just returned from Sicily, so had to recreate my favorite cookies from the trip, using the red sesame seeds I bought at the market. They melt in the mouth-- and should, as they are made with lard is the main ingredient! I hope you try these!

I adore these cookies, they are fabulous alone or served with a nice cup of tea.
I first had these cookies in Palermo. I am not sure if they are regional or all of Sicily makes them.

Biscotti Reginelle Recipe

Italian recipes that I post are made using Italian 00 flour, it is lower in gluten. I have seen it made now by Bob's Mill and in some stores at home imported from Italy. It is the secret to thin pizza crust too!
Lower gluten means is absorbs less liquid so if you change flours, you really change the ratio in the recipes.

The other idea I had was to make a Gingerbread cookie box, with an assortment of cookies and sweets inside, including gingerbread ornaments to hang on the tree. I used the gingerbread recipe from Elise of SimplyRecipes. In Italy, one has to buy special flour, called Manitoba, to make American recipes.

Simply Recipes Gingerbread Cookies

Here is a close up of some of the shapes I only used the round ones to hang as you can see here.

I have been eating kilo's of clementines and am candying the rind, to then dip in chocolate.

I just made some of David Lebovitz's fabulous Matzoh Crunch, this year with pistacchio "dust" I bought in Sicily. When they cool, I cut them into small pieces as they are rather rich for the Italian palate as well as mine! Less is more.

I will continue to post Christmas Sweets as I have time to make them.

Probably one of the most looked at recipe on the blog, is for the Ricciarelli cookie from Siena.
I make mine using ground almond flour and it is a favorite all year long, not just at Christmas!

I will also be making my Hot Italian Kisses, chocolate truffles with a kick of chili.

Stay tuned- 2011 is time for big changes for me- news coming soon!!!

I am thrilled!


If you are interested in giving my cookbook for Christmas- I have just sent a shipment to California- so they will arrive in time!

You can see reviews and order here.


  1. Looking forward to more baking recipes like this one.

  2. I love the look of those reginelle unique!

  3. @lakeviewer- I began my culinary life as a pastry chef--- and still adore making desserts- but it is hard for me to write the recipes here-- as I have Italian ingredients and the recipes here use a different kind of flour-- and are mostly done by weight ....

  4. oh god, now I really need a chocolate fix!

  5. Wishing the sweets were here instead of there. Love the matzoh crunch - have never used matzoh in baking - just scarf it down bite by bite.

  6. Merry christmas 2011 more info visit :::finger food brisbane party event.......

  7. Your Sicilian Sesame Cookie looks like the ones I used to make with my Grandmother...but she used anise in hers. My Grandmother wasn't Sicilian, but I'm starting to wonder about that...she made a lot of the same cookies.