Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I Dolci della Nonna

I think it is irrefutable that grandmothers make the best food. I also think that the goal of an Italian grandmother is to make others fat with their delicious treats. One of these treats are pizzelle.

Pizzelle are waffle cookies made with simple ingredients, i.e. flour, eggs, sugar, butter or oil and love. They are often flavoured with either vanilla, anise or lemon zest. These cookies are pressed in an iron, rather than baked.

These lightly flavoured discs are often made to celebrate Christmas, Easter and weddings.

One of my favorite ways to eat them is by sandwiching two in between a layer of Nutella.

Who doesn't like Nutella? Nutella is a chocolate-hazelnut spread made by Ferrero that can be put on almost anything. Quite frankly, I don't actually need anything to put it on. Just pass me a spoon!

The second Italian treat is a pastry made for Carnevale. Carnevale is a Roman Catholic celebration, symbolizing the beginning of Lent. It is celebrated in many countries, including Italy.

This pastry is known by many names, depending on the region in Italy. Here are some of the names by which they are called:

Galani - Trieste
Chiacchiere - Lombardia
Cenci - Toscana
Frappe - Emilia-Romagna
Bugie - Genoa
Crostotini - Trento
Nocche - Many Southern Regions

To quote Shakespeare, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." In other words, who cares? Just eat them!

These light pastries are fried and are often found in the shape of knots. They are lightly sprinkled with a dusting of powdered sugar.

To me, Carnevale is any time of the year!

A big "grazie" to the Nonne who brought me the above treats!


  1. ok. need recipe for Crostotini. i have my mother's recipe but they never turn out as nice as hers.

  2. I'm trying to get Alex's Nonna's recipe. Her's are amazing...but, I want to witness the procedure in case there are any "forgotten" ingredients. I'll report back once I've cracked the code!