DOLCI E PASTICCINI (DESSERTS AND PASTRIES)

Mom's Cassadeles

I cannot remember a holiday, or any family gathering for that matter, when we didn’t all enjoy my mom’s cassadeles. She does something special to them….they are hard to duplicate exactly, but certainly worth trying.

Karen's Ricotta Cookies

This is a traditional ricotta cookie, and my sister Karen makes this recipe during every holiday season. It is a delicious, soft cookie, accented by the confectioners sugar icing and optional sprinkles for holiday decorating.

Phyllo Lemon Raspberry Cups

This recipe is really delicious and very easy. I was experimenting with a fruit dip one day, and realized that this mixture could be utilized in many different combinations. The dessert looks great on a holiday buffet, and provides a perfect sized “finger food” dessert. You will be surprised at the deep, rich flavors.

Grand Marnier Berry Parfait

This is a delicious dessert that I make often. It is simple to prepare, using premade angel food cake. For a lower calorie dessert, eliminate the Grand Marnier and use light whipped cream….but that’s not much fun! Feel free to modify–any type of cake or liquor can be substituted, based upon your preference.

Jessica's Nutella Crepes

We enjoyed nutella crepes for the first time at a small pizza shop near the Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy. This quickly became my daughter, Jessica’s, favorite. We ordered this dish many times during our visit, and have tried to recreate the recipe from memory. I hope we have done it justice!

Affogato

Affogato literally means “drowned” in Italian. This dessert is very simple, covering ice cream with a shot of espresso (thus “drowning” the ice cream). Traditionally, affogato is served with vanilla gelato or ice cream, but I enjoy this dessert most with coffee ice cream. Feel free to choose any ice cream or gelato that you prefer. Top with a shot of espresso, whipped cream, shaved chocolate, or any topping you prefer. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Pastiera Napoletana

We were in Naples, Italy while they prepared for Easter 2013.  The city was alive with excitement, preparing for various festivals and preparing assortments of baked delights for the holiday.  We went to a local bakery, and I enjoyed the most delicious pastiera cake I’ve ever eaten.  In fact, the slice of cake I enjoyed was from the largest pastiera cake I’ve ever seen in my life (pictured right).  The slice missing was mine!

Espresso Tiramisu Dip

This was another delicious treat from the PureWow website.  A delicious espresso tiramisu dip deconstructed….served with ladyfingers for dipping.  How ingenious!

Pistachio & Almond Biscotti

This was one of the easiest biscotti recipes I’ve ever made, using almond paste in the mixture. 

Aunt Caroline's Baked Peaches with Amaretti

There aren’t too many fruit recipes that I would choose for dessert.  This is Aunt Caroline’s baked peach recipe, and this is delicious topped with crushed amaretti cookies and chopped almonds.  Serve this dessert warm, with vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream.  Enjoy!

Ricotta Cookies with Orange Zest

This is a traditional ricotta cookie, and one of my favorites. The addition of orange zest in both the cookie dough and the icing makes this cookie moist & delicious!!

Raspberry & Chambord Tiramisu

I made this recipe recently for a dinner party. The tiramisu looks beautiful individually presented. The combination of the fresh raspberries and Chambord liqueur really complement each other in this recipe. 

Mom's Rum Balls

This is Mom’s recipe for rum balls.  For as long as I can remember, rum balls have always been on our holiday dessert buffet.  They are easy to make, and can be rolled in a variety of different toppings. 

Mom's Pizza Grana (Wheat Pie)

This is Mom’s recipe for the traditional Easter Pie, Pizza Grana.  We have enjoyed this dessert during many holiday celebrations.  This recipe is unlike many of the traditional recipes for Pizza Grana that require a lot of preparation and many ingredients. 

Mom's Boiled Cookies

Mom used to make these cookies all the time.  They aren’t the prettiest cookie in the world…..but they are tasty, and easy to make.

Italian Ice

Similar to a granita dessert, this recipe is simple to make and doesn’t require special equipment.  Use fresh, ripe ingredients for the best result.  This was inspired by a Food Network Magazine recipe.

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