Italians love to celebrate Christmas with seasonal recipes and typical dishes that they enjoy sharing around the table with family and friends. For those of you with a sweet tooth, we have a selection of great Christmas sweet delicacies from Maremma, Tuscany and Italy in general!
Christmas Cakes from Maremma
Pagnottella di Natale: this Christmas Loaf is typical from the sea village of Porto Santo Stefano. Ingredients include dry figs, almond, raisins, walnuts and hazelnuts (recipe).
Castagnaccio di Saturnia: This chestnut flour cake is a typical autumnal dessert in Maremma. However, the area of Saturnia – famous for the thermal hot springs – has a special Christmas version too (recipe).
Christmas Desserts from Tuscany
Panforte: This dessert dates back to the 13th century in Siena. Documents from 1205 show that panforte was paid to the monks and nuns of a local monastery as a tax, perhaps for its rich and quality ingredients. In fact, this chewy cake features honey, coriander, cloves and cinnamon.
Ricciarelli: Traditional Italian biscuit originating in 14th century, also in Siena. They are made using an almond base with sugar, honey and egg white. The rough and crackled surface is usually lightly sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar.
Cavallucci: a rich Italian Christmas pastry made with anise, almonds, candied fruits, coriander, and flour. These chewy biscuits traditionally use Tuscan millefiori honey as an essential ingredient in the paste.
Christmas Sweet Breads from around Italy
Panettone: is a type of sweet bread loaf originally from Milan. It has a dome shape and contains candied orange, citron, and lemon zest, as well as raisins.
Pandoro: a delicious yeast bread originally from Verona, traditionally shaped like a star with 8 pointsand served dusted with vanilla scented icing sugar.
Pangiallo: this golden yellow bread is typical of Rome and surroundings, and features nuts, spices, raisins and candied fruit such as lime peel.
Pandolce: originating in Genoa, this fruit cake is made with sultanas, currants or raisins, glacé cherries, almonds, and candied orange peel.