Special occasions in Italy are a time for feasting and no feast would be complete without pastries, which may be baked or fried.
Pastries are the most popular type of Italian desserts.
One of the most popular of all Italian desserts in the United States,
cannoli are now seen on the mainland of Italy, as well as their native
Sicily. Sweetened ricotta cheese is the traditional cannoli filling but
there are variations using vanilla or chocolate pastry cream. Cannoli
shells are traditionally fried but we are also providing you with a
Austria is the homeland of strudel but the dessert
is also popular in the Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli
Venezia Giulia regions in northern Italy.
Traditional strudel is usually made into one large
roll that is sliced and served. These miniature
strudels are bite-size.
Cartellate are crisp pastry spirals that are drizzled
with honey. They are sometimes called the "dahlias
of Saint Nicholas" because of their color and shape
and also their association with the nuns of the
hospice for pilgrims of Saint Nicholas of Bari.
Cassatedde are Sicilian half-moon shaped pockets
of pastry with a sweet filling that may be either
fried or baked. They can be considered a mini
sweet version of a calzone.
Italian Cream Horns (Cornetti de Crema) are
delicious little pastries that are made with puff
pastry dough that is wrapped around metal molds,
baked until crisp, and then filled with cream.
In Italian, cream puffs are called "Bocconcini con
Crema" or little mouthfuls of pastry with cream. They
are a very popular item to be served at weddings,
birthdays, first communions, and other such
Crespelle (krehs-PEHL-lay) are the Italian version of
crepes, which are very thin pancakes. Here the
crepes are folded instead of rolled and filled with a
luscious chocolate filling.
For most special occasions, Italian families enjoy fried treats. The names and shapes of these fried delicacies differ from region to region.
Fried Pastry Recipes >>
A Napolean is a dessert that consists of three
layers of puff pastry alternating with two layers of
pastry cream. The top of a Napolean is usually
glazed with a white icing with chocolate stripes
that are combed to create its distinctive
Pasta Ciotti are small Italian custard-filled dessert
tarts. The word 'pasta' is Italian for dough and in
this case it refers to a sweet dough.
Sfogliatelle means many leaves or layers and this
crisp pastry's texture resembles leaves stacked on
each other. Sfogliatelle look like seashells when
baked. The characteristic ridges form as the
layers of dough separate during baking.
Limoncello babas are delicious little Italian
pastries. The babas are made with a sweetened
yeast dough and are soaked with Limoncello syrup
Zeppole are a fried Italian pastry that are served
warm and dusted with confectioners' sugar or
cinnamon-sugar. They can also be filled with a
sweetend ricotta cheese.
Apple fritters are made from rings of fresh apples
that are dipped in batter and fried. The result is a
thin, crispy brown crust fritter that is filled with
warm, soft apple.
Crema fritta consists of a custard that is chilled
until firm, and then cut into small shapes, coated
with bread crumbs, and fried. They are crispy on
the outside and creamy on the inside.
More than 125 recipes for
cookies, cakes, pastries,
frozen confections, and more.
Favorites such as Cannoli and
Zuppa Inglese are featured
along with unusual regional
specialties such as Licorice
Granita and Chocolate
Eggplant. In addition to
beloved classics and
traditional holiday fare,
readers will find contemporary
sweets enjoyed by Italians
today-including a light and
luscious “updated” Tiramisù.
This is a delicious variation of the traditional
cannoli recipe. It's a great dessert for any fall get-
together or a special addition to your Thanksgiving
With the simple addition of pumpkin puree and
some spices, you can turn traditional zeppole into
somthing special for an autumn treat or to add to
your Thanksgiving dessert table.
Just imagine biting into a warm, fluffy doughnut with a sugary crust and finding a delicious and silky cream inside.
Bomboloni Recipe >>
Minni di virgini are round pastries in the shape of a
small breast. Virgin's Breasts are eaten at the
Feast of St. Agatha which takes place in Catania
every year on February 5.
These beautiful pastries are very easy to prepare.
Just use a sheet of ready-made puff pastry, cut
the apples into slices, cook them briefly, and then
roll them in the pastry dough.
SILICONE PANS AND UTENSILS
Silicone pans and utensils are
everywhere these days. Not
since nonstick Teflon came into
the kitchen years ago has there
been a material that has so
So what makes silicone so
great? It is heat-resistant up to
500 degrees F. It is supple,
although it can also be firm. It's
microwave and dishwasher
The first silicone product to
show up in home kitchens was
probably the baking mat. The
cookie sheet liner makes
greasing your pan obsolete.
Then came candy-colored
silicone spatulas. They are
strong enough to stir cream puff
dough over heat and they're
particularly good for stirring
candy mixtures as they
caramelize. No more wooden
spoons covered with hardened
sugar that is impossible to get
off or rubber spatulas burned
around the edges.
But if you're a baker, silicone
baking pans are probably a
favorite. Once only used in
professional kitchens, they were
very expensive to buy, if you
could even find them. Now the
pans are reasonably priced and
readily available. Silicone pans
are particularly good for things
that are a little difficult to
unmold, such as mini muffins or
bundt cakes. This is because
you don't so much unmold a
cake with a silicone pan as you
do peel off the pan. Some
people don't like silicone pans
because once they're filled with
batter, getting them into the oven
can be precarious. To solve this
problem, simply do what the
pros do and put your silicone
pans on a cookie sheet.
LUSCIOUS CAKES FROM
DEAN & DELUCA
FRESH AND CRISPY CANNOLI
SHELLS READY TO BE FILLED
The most difficult part of making cannoli is making the shells. So save yourself the time and effort by keeping these shells in your pantry ready to fill whenever you crave a cannoli.