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Panforte
Photo © Alice del Re
Photo © Alice del Re

3 sweet recipes for Christmas

The recipes to bring taste, tradition and a festive atmosphere to the table

During the Christmas holidays, the most magical time of the year, there is an undeniable growing desire to fill our homes with decorations, lights and perfumes. And to create an authentic festive atmosphere, nothing better than getting together at the stove to prepare one of the traditional Tuscan desserts.

Here are three recipes to bring to the table the desserts and biscuits that most symbolize and sweeten these special days.

Contents
  • 1.
    Ricciarelli
  • 2.
    Panforte
  • 3.
    Befanini
1.

Ricciarelli

Ricciarelli di Siena PGI
Ricciarelli di Siena PGI - Credit: Shaw / WikiCommons

The Christmas dessert par excellence are the "Ricciarelli di Siena", delicious biscuits which, according to legend, were brought to Tuscany by the knight Ricciardetto Della Gherardesca on his return from the Crusades.

A cross between a small pastry and a biscuit, with a soft interior that melts in your mouth, the unmistakable aroma of bitter almonds and a sprinkling of icing sugar.

The recipe includes a dough based on almonds, sugar and egg whites (Ricciarelli are therefore gluten-free and lactose-free) and a process that is not very quick, but of great satisfaction!

1.

Panforte

Panforte di Siena IGP
Panforte di Siena IGP

The other dessert typical of the Christmas holidays also comes from Siena, with a history dating back to the year 1000: Panforte.

Honey, spices, candied and dried fruit are the basis of the recipe which allows to obtain a sort of compact cake, with a pasty consistency and a sweet flavor with an aftertaste of candied fruit and almonds.

1.

Befanini

Befanini biscuits
Befanini biscuits

Finally, bringing holidays to an end, the simple but tasty recipe for Befanini, which, as the name suggests, are biscuits baked on the occasion of the Epiphany ("Befana", January 6). This traditional dessert is always present on the tables of Lucca, Versilia, Garfagnana, but also other areas of Tuscany.

The preparation of these colorful biscuits usually involves the whole family, including children who can let their imagination run wild by cutting out the Befanini with molds, and then have fun decorating them with a brush of egg and sprinkles.

 

Original article by Ilaria Giannini

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