Tag: sweets

Nougat from Abruzzo, sweets for the Christmas holidays – Italian Cuisine

Very few ingredients and a lot of care for a very simple sweet. These are nougats, they come directly from Abruzzo and are prepared for the Christmas holidays

You say nougats and images immediately difficult tempering of chocolate. Nothing more different: i nougat from Abruzzo (they also call them spumini) that they make during the holiday season are truly beginner-proof, quick to make, and gluten-free. In fact, the main ingredients are only 3: almonds, egg whites, sugar. And as in any recipe that includes very few ingredients, it is essential that they are of great quality.

The personal touch is given by the aromas that you decide to add to the dough. The lemon zest and cinnamon, as we propose in this recipe, for example. But also other spices, such as vanilla and cocoa, or you can enrich the covering meringue with almond flakes. Ideal to be served at the end of a meal with coffee or with a sweet wine, nougats from Abruzzo can also be eaten alone as a snack or as a snack.

Nougat from Abruzzo.
Nougat from Abruzzo.

Ingredients for 12 nougats

300 g of almonds with the skin
2 egg whites
250 g sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of cinnamon


To prepare the nougat we start with almonds. Toast them lightly in a pan (without salt or sugar). Once browned, let them cool, put them in a mixer and blend them until you get a coarse flour. It doesn't have to be too fine. In a bowl, add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and the grated zest of one lemon to the almonds. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 90 ° in fan mode.
Separately, whisk the egg whites in a bowl with an electric mixer, adding the sugar a little at a time. When they are well whipped, add about 2/3 of the egg whites with the sugar to the almond mixture. Mix everything together evenly until the mixture is compact.
Now you have to compose the nougats. Insert the mixture into two sheets of baking paper and help yourself with a rolling pin to roll it out until you get a thickness of about 1.5 centimeters in height. Use a large knife to file the edges. Once you have obtained a rather precise rectangle, cut the tile with the knife to obtain the individual nougats. The size, as long as it is long and narrow, is to your liking. Separate the rectangles and pour the remaining third of meringue over each nougat with a teaspoon.
Once the coverage is complete, the nougats always go in the oven at 90 ° for about an hour. This is not a real cooking, the nougats will simply have to dry. If you see them darken, pay attention to the oven temperature, it is certainly too high. After an hour, let it cool and then serve. Torroncini can be eaten even after days.

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Regional Christmas sweets – Italian Cuisine – Italian Cuisine

Regional Christmas sweets - Italian Cuisine

We take you from Valle d'Aosta to Sicily to discover the traditional recipes of typical sweets for the holidays, from pandolce to cannoli. For an all-Italian Christmas

Neapolitan Christmas sweets, Sicilian Christmas sweets, Apulian Christmas sweets, and so on for all the regions of Italy passing through Valle d'Aosta at the Tuscany passing by Marche up to Basilicata – without forgetting the Molise, naturally. From struffoli to cannoli, from panforte to the pangiallo, from panettone to pandoro, our 20 regions give us 20 truly amazing traditional recipes for the festive table.

During the holidays, each region produces its own specialty, in a triumph of spices, dried fruit, honey and sparkling candied fruit. Let it be there Christmas Eve or lunch, the snack of Saint Stephen or the new Year's Eve dinner, bringing a regional dessert to the table always has a certain effect, reminding each of the guests of their roots, where we come from. And then of course there are those who make the recipe differently or remember Grandma's special touch, and so on – but it doesn't matter, what matters is being together and enjoying a sweet moment with a full heart.

20 recipes of 20 regional desserts


parrozzo: The parrozzo was created in 1920 by a pastry chef from Pescara as a sweet version of the "rough bread" of corn. Gabriele D'Annunzio liked it a lot, who invented the name.


Calzoncelli: They are prepared for Christmas throughout Basilicata, especially in the province of Salerno, in Sannio Beneventano and in Irpinia. They are also called "Christmas pasticelle".


Petrali: Petrali, also called chinuliji or chjinuli in dialect depending on the place, are Christmas sweets typical of Reggio Calabria and its province.


Struffoli: Delicious fried sweets of Neapolitan origin that are prepared for the Christmas holidays, but also for Carnival. These little greedy spheres are like cherries, one leads to another!

Emilia Romagna

Carthusian of Bologna: 5 Chinese spices, honey, almonds, pine nuts, dark chocolate and candied fruit: the Certosino di Bologna is the typical dessert during the Holidays. It also requires ammonia for food.

Friuli Venezia Giulia

Potiza: It is a delicious crown of leavened dough stuffed with a very rich filling based on chocolate, nuts, butter and breadcrumbs.


Pangiallo: The pangiallo has very ancient origins in imperial Rome, it has become a typical Lazio dessert for the holidays, which is usually prepared on the day of the Winter Solstice as a good omen.


Genoa Cake: It owes its name to the origins in the foundation of the Republic of Genoa, the Genoese pandolce is a symbol of the region and its city. Preferred during the holidays, it is still consumed all year round.


Artisan panettone: The famous "Pan del Toni" has conquered all of Italy and beyond. As per tradition, it is enriched with creams or fillings. Here is an idea for the covering: melt 120 g of white chocolate and add 60 g of hot milk; emulsify with an immersion blender, adding 20 g of butter. Pour over the panettone.


Seahorses of Apiro: They are the typical sweets of the Marche Christmas tradition with grape must, a poor recipe of peasant origins.


Mostaccioli from Molise: Mostaccioli are typical Christmas sweets from the center-south, which take a different recipe for each region. In Molise, tradition requires that mostaccioli are very sweet pieces of pasta derived from mustaceus, the ancient wedding focaccia.


Bonet: Among the Piedmontese sweets it is the most famous and has very ancient origins. Its name in Piedmontese dialect means "hat": it seems that it was so called precisely because the truncated cone mold into which it was poured resembles the shape of a cap (although today the custom of preparing it in square molds has become increasingly widespread).


Cartellate: Cartellate, in Apulian “carteddate”, are usually prepared in a sweet version, garnished with a sauce based on vincotto, honey and spices. Originally from Puglia, they are also widespread in Basilicata and Calabria.


Papassini: Also called pabassinos or papassinos depending on the area, they are large biscuits prepared with a dough of shortcrust pastry, raisins, almonds, walnuts, grated lemon peel, honey. Their name comes from papassa or pabassa, which is the sultanas of which they are rich.


Cannoli: Together with the cassata, cannoli are a traditional specialty of Sicilian pastry. The original ones are filled with ricotta cream but, once ready, the cannoli can also be filled with fruit or chocolate mousse.


panforte: The great father of Italian cuisine Pellegrino Artusi recommends Tuscan panforte for Christmas lunch in his work Science in the kitchen (1891)

Trentino Alto Adige

Zelten: Dried fruit and candied fruit are the basis of this typical dessert of the South Tyrolean tradition. Very easy and quick to prepare, it is a perfect choice for the holidays.


Umbrian Torciglione: Also known as the "Umbrian snake" due to its circular shape, it is the typical dessert made with almonds, sugar and egg whites. Back on the tables also at Easter.

Valle d'Aosta

Lou mécoulen (or lou meculin): Originally from Cogne, it is the sweet Aosta Valley bread considered by many to be the ancestor of panettone.


Artisan Pandoro: Typical Christmas cake from Verona, it has conquered all of Italy with its simple fragrance. The name derives from the Venetian dialect "pan de oro" and was served on the tables together with nadalin.

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Petrali recipe, Calabrian Christmas sweets – Italian Cuisine

  • 175 g dried figs
  • 125 g mulled wine
  • 75 g toasted almonds
  • 150 g walnut kernels
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 tangerine
  • honey
  • cocoa
  • cinnamon
  • cloves powder

Pour the wine in a bowl and season with a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of powdered cloves, honey and cocoa.
Chop dried figs, toasted almonds and walnuts, grate the orange and mandarin peel and add everything to the wine. Let it rest for 24 hours, covered in the refrigerator.
Transfer all in a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Let it cool down.

Knead flour with sugar, lard and egg yolks, perfume it with the grated rind of a lemon and the grated seeds of half a vanilla pod. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Roll it out then in a thin layer and cut out disks of about 10 cm in diameter and close by folding the disk into a crescent; alternatively, place the filling on a portion of the pastry, overlap another portion of the pastry and then cut out with a pastry cutter of the shape you prefer, closing the edges at the same time.
Cook at 180 ° C for about 25 minutes. Complete with granulated sugar.

Recipe: Emanuele Frigerio, Texts: Laura Forti, Photos: Giacomo Bretzel, Styling: Beatrice Prada

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