Skip to main content

The days are getting warmer, the sun is setting later in the day and it is starting to feel a lot like Christmas (in the Southern hemsphere at least). Everything has become busier – Christmas decorations fill the shops, the shops are becoming somewhat chaotic with people buying gifts and at work it is getting increasingly more difficult to squeeze in meetings. So it is time to take a breather and post a Christmas round-up, bringing together loved recipes from the recent past and the not-so-recent past. Last year’s round up  was all about antipasti, the previous year it was all about cakes, and this year it is all about biscotti and bite-sized treats, the ones you would like to have in the pantry for when guests drop by in December. It is a good time to make them now so that they are ready for those crazy few weeks before Christmas. So here are my top-five biscotti and bite-sized treats for this Christmas:

(1) Every year I make panforte to give as Christmas gifts (photo above) – it keeps for ages wrapped up in foil. I tend to keep it in the fridge (as our summer is very hot). This is my own recipe and is a spicy and peppery version with ginger.

(2) If you are looking for something elegant but simple to make, look no further than these baci di dama (also known as “ladies kisses”). They contain only five ingredients and I can vouch for the fact that the whole tray will be eaten in one sitting.

baci da dama-italy on my mind

(3) These rolled short-bread bites filled with plum jam feel really Christmassy – and look so pretty dusted with icing sugar

rolled shortbread biscotti

(4) I couldn’t resist sharing the recipe for lemon taralli again – it was one of my most popular recent posts and they probably are my biscotto of the year.

taralli-italy on my mind

(5) And finally some traditional biscotti – with pistachios and citrus zests (lime, orange and lemon). These keep for absolutely ages in a airtight container in the pantry and look lovely with green flecked through them.

biscotti-italy on my mind-italian food blog

I will not be posting any further recipes this year, due to my December trip to Italy – though I may be able to squeeze in a couple of travel posts whilst I am there. What an incredible year 2015 has been! In addition to the huge task of moving my WordPress blog to a self-hosted website, I have focussed on furher developing my photo-taking skills and running cooking classes. I am beyond excited about my Sicily workshop with Fabrizia Lanza in September 2016. If you are looking to buy Christmas gifts, consider buying a ticket my cooking classes , held in my North Fitzroy apartment. I have had a number of enquires about tickets to my classes as gifts (or arranging a bespoke class for a group of friends) – they make great Christmas presents!

I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas, a wonderful break with family and friends and lots of cooking (of course) xx


  • Lyn says:

    Have a fabulous trip to Italy and wishing you a very special Christmas. Yes you have had such an amazing year. Thank you for your lovely posts and thank you for these great recipes. All the best Lyn

  • Lyn says:

    Wishing you a fabulous trip to Italy and a very special Christmas. Yes, you have had an amazing year. Thank you for your great posts and thank you for these great recipes. All the best Lyn

  • Yummy! Panforte is my favourite and I don’t make it because I know i’ll eat it all!

  • Denise says:

    Hopefully I can attend one of your classes next year. Oh I would love to get to Sicily but not the right timing. Do you think this is going to be a regular event? Buon natale.

    • that would be great to meet you at a class in Melbourne Denise. I have a few classes up for the first half of 2016- I will put up the others for the second half of the year in February.
      I would love the Sicily workshop to be a regular thing – it does depend on how well this one goes (as it is the first one). Fingers crossed it all goes well and it can be repeated in 2017

  • Elena Molinaro says:

    congratulations on a wonderful year of great blogs and recipes..I’ve enjoyed them immensely. Your class in Sicily sounds really exciting…food for thought!!! Buon Natale e Buon Anno to you and yours.

    • thank you very much Elena for your very kind words. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and buon anno as well. And I would love to see you in Sicily!

  • David says:

    What a wonderful set of recipes, Paola! I just made panforte this past weekend and, when it is gone, I want to try yours. It reminds me of the pan pepato that I used to get in Siena. The taralli also look really great. And the baci di dame…. And… And… (See my problem?)

    • Hi David, all your messages have appeared – not sure what the problem was at your end. Glad you like the recipes – I am sure you could make all of them…this is not a problem…it is Christmas after all. What panforte recipe do you use? I adore a spicy version (hence the ginger and pepper in mine)

  • Hi Paola – so glad they made it through. I have been having such issues with comments and I am sure it is me, not anyone else! 😉 My recipe for panforte came from a cooking school in Tuscany. It is much more the standard style, and I, too, love the spicy one! I am sure mine will be gone soon, so I can get on to making yours! I am making the baci di dame for the cookie study break for the students work. I wonder if they know how lucky they are?

  • I simply love your photos and your posts!! Have a safe and wonderful Christmas. One day I hope to take one of your courses….😊

%d bloggers like this: