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