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Tiramisu

Pumpkin Tiramisu Torte

You know that fall has arrived when you notice an abundance of pumpkins at the supermarket.  My brain goes into cold-weather mode thinking of foods synonymous with fall, like pumpkin and apple pie.  Tiramisu is a popular dessert in cafes and restaurants throughout Italy.  It has also become a popular dessert here in the US.  […]

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LemonPastew

Lemon Paste Flavoring

Lemons can add magic to desserts.  Lemon paste (pasta di limoni) is an intensely aromatic, thick, jam-like mixture used to flavor Italian desserts. You can use it to flavor cream fillings, cookies, pastries, breads, and cakes, etc.  Think lemon cheesecake or just about any dessert you want to add lemon flavor to.  There is an […]

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Sfinciweb

Sfinci: Zeppole (Italian Fried Doughnuts)

Sfinci (or sfingi) is the Sicilian word for the Italian fried doughnut called zeppole (plural). Different regions of Italy also refer to it by different names, but we’ll keep it simple here to the two names that are most popular.  This is my family’s recipe for this basic fried yeast doughnut.  Have you ever been […]

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MeringueCookies

Almond, Orange, and Cinnamon Meringue Topped Cookies

These unusual buttery shortbread cookies are a family favorite.  I have never come across a similar recipe.  What makes them unusual is that they are topped with a thin layer of meringue, rather than having a meringue base.  Then sprinkled with almonds, orange zest, and cinnamon. A delicious flavor combination. Almond, Orange, and Cinnamon Meringue […]

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PearTartw

Marsala Poached Pear Tart

Tarts and pies are basically the same creature in a different form.  The pie is humble in nature while the tart is its elegant counterpart.  Think blueberry tart as opposed to a blueberry pie. The tart is what I would go for!  A large tart will feed more people than a pie will, so it’s […]

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AlmondCookiesw

Sicilian Almond Cookies with Cherries

These intense almond flavored cookies are slightly crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.  They are very easy to make and only require five ingredients. 

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QuincePaste

Quince Paste – Cotognata

My daughter Amanda had given me these beautiful antique Sicilian ceramic molds she had purchased.  I immediately fell in love with the designs on them.  They have been used since medieval times to make quince paste, considered a luxury food at that time because only the rich that could afford sugar.  Most quince paste (membrillo […]

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PignolataM

Two Chocolate Pignolata Messinese

Pignolata is a Sicilian pastry made of small fried balls of dough that are usually covered in a honey syrup. I will go as far as to say that strufoli, an Italian pastry that hails from Naples, is the same dish. The dish is kind of like sfinci, a type of doughnut (Sicilians call them […]

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Muscardini

Muscardini: Bones of the Dead Cookies

Bones of the Dead (Ossi di Morti in Italian) cookies are traditionally served on All Soul’s Day in Sicily.  They are given to children as a treat from departed loved ones.  They are also known as Muscardini.  These cookies are hard and brittle and do resemble bones.  However, I think they look like melted marshmallows. […]

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MandarinGranita

Mandarin Orange Granita

Granita is a dessert ice that originated in Sicily during its Arab occupation. It is also a type of Italian ice however, Italian ice as we know it has a smoother texture and granita has a more granular texture as the name suggests. Granuloso or granulare means granular in Italian. In Sicily, granita is typically […]

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