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Dessert Recipes

Holiday Panettone and Some Favorite Things

Here we are all are after the holidays. Is there room for another fabulous holiday dessert? I say there is!! Panettone is eaten in Italy during the Christmas days. I have never made panettone, but I have sure had some wonderful Italian ones.

Fresh from the bakery or the store bought kind, it can be a challenge finding a really good panettone here in South Florida. I took matters into my own hands and  I attempted to make one!

I had my Christmas issue from Food Network Magazine (2009) pulled out and I was eyeing this gift idea of Panettone Mix in a jar. I had every desire to make it…but not the time. I finally made their Holiday Panettone to see if it is really a panettone. It was fabulous! It is not a true panettone, more like a panettone brioche: a briochattone! This briochattone is buttery and fluffy. The kids were drooling when I gave them some pieces hot out of the oven.

I made it like the recipe. Didn’t change the dough. I did change what was added into to it. Does it matter that it is not truly a panettone? Not really.
This the photo from Food Network Magazine that had me dreaming of being crafty last Christmas and this Christmas.

Photo: courtesy of Food Network

When we were in Italy this past summer, we came across this bread in Como: La Nuvola (the cloud). Tears came to my eyes when I saw them all lined up. I had to go inside and get a closer look!
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And there they were in front of my eyes…all of these fluffy beauties. We bought one. It is like a panettone but with spoonfuls of apricot jam cooked throughout the bread. Buttery, apriocty (is that a word?)and amazing!!
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Recipe Notes: In my Holiday Panettone, I added about 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and a 1/2 cup raisins and a 1/2 cup dried cranberries. I soaked the cranberries and raisins in hot water for about 10 minutes. I then drained and cooled them before adding to the batter. Dreamy! This is the exact recipe from the magazine. You could adjust the fruit to your taste. After the dough rose, I did add a little flour to the dough as it was very sticky. Before I baked the bread, I rubbed some soft butter on top of the loaves. Then I brushed an egg wash on top of the loaves.

Holiday Panettone Ingredient List
1/2 cup diced candied orange peel
3/4 cup dried cherries
3/4 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup diced dried apricots
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

*If you're giving this mix to a nut lover, add 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts in place of some of the dried fruit

Add the panettone ingredients to a large bowl. Heat 1 cup whole milk, 1 stick butter, 1/4 cup honey and 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest to 120 degrees in a saucepan; stir into the mix. Mix in 2 lightly beaten eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Butter two 5-by-9-inch loaf pans or two empty 10-ounce coffee cans and line with parchment paper. Add the dough; cover and let rise 1 hour. Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool before slicing.

So another year has passed. I get older and my kids get smarter. I’ve been dealing with some annoying health issue since this summer. I got a phone call from my doctor right before Christmas. She told me not to worry. Of course, I will worry until I do my follow-up test with her. I feel sentimental and I feel blessed while I glance at images from my past year. I know I’ll be fine. I just want to appreciate every instant. This  reminds me to do just that.

We spent beautiful days in Italy this summer and on the beach here in South Florida. My husband’s family in Italy is incredible. They have huge hearts and are all amazing in the kitchen. I hope you like some of the photos of my favorite things from this year.

My kids making a sand castle on the beach. Summer 2010.
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That is me and my lil’ guy on Mother’s Day. I had my hair colored dark brown last spring. Now it is blonde again. Lil’ guy told me when I had my hair colored brown, “I like the other Lora.” lol Winking smile
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My cute hubs and me outside of Aosta Italy this summer.
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Pasticcini. Italian pastries at a lunch this summer in Italy.
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The view on the way to Bellagio this summer.
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Il Duomo in Milan. Breathtaking.
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Oh Lordy-look at this cheese! At the market this summer outside of Como.
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Nonna Antonia, my husband’s grandmother, making Calabrese fried stuffed eggplant. She is a young 84. She had 9 kids. She is one of the happiest people I know.
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My husband’s cousin Giuseppe. Lunch at his house this summer in Aosta was even more entertaining because he is a sommelier. His presentation of this wonderful vino was adorable…just like him.
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Zia Teresa was making us this fresh carpaccio di manzo (beef carpaccio).
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Zia Teresa and her homemade pasta. She was so proud when she brought to show us how she hand rolled them earlier that day.italy2010 386
The last cappuccino at the airport in Milano. Perfection.
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This is what we got to see while we were checking our flights this summer leaving Italy. This GIGANTIC poster the width of all the flight monitors. Filled with half naked soccer players. My daughter was giggling. It was impossible to tell her not to look as these posters as they were all over the airport!! It was 6 AM. My eyes did finally open up. The Italian national soccer team in their D and G skivvies. Only in Italy.
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I think “la vita e’ bella”. Life is beautiful. Find beauty wherever you go. Kiss your kids. Pet your pooches. Give your neighbor a hug who maybe is feeling lonely during the holidays. Call your Grandma just to say "Hi!". Call your brother and tell him you have a fresh banana bread that he has to come over and pick up. I did tonight.

I would like to share this Holiday Panettone with Yeastspotting :)


  1. Mmmm your Panettone looks amazing! I'm so impressed that you made homemade Panettone. I just love the photos of you and your family. Your son's comment is hilarious, I like the other Lora. haha.
    And the pictures of Italy are gorgeous!! I'm so jealous you get to go every year, how amazing.

    Now if only the airports in the US were like the ones in Italy. I certainly wouldn't mind my flight being delayed.
    And please send Giuseppe to Portland, Oregon. Thank you very much Lora! lol. :)

  2. Bellissimo! Okay, that's all the Italian I've got but it completely applies. Wonderful post. First we were treated to your panettone brioche that you made. All by yourself. From scratch. Oh my gosh. I'd have been drooling with the kids. And then we got the lovely replay of your year's highlights. (Sorry for the pun on hair color) Praying that everything works out just fine with the doctor.

  3. YUMMM!! I know that bread is something my family would love. I love your name for it haha- briochtonne sounds even better mmmm! Will definitely give this a try soon!

    Love the photos as well. Beautiful family- youre so blessed! I hope you are given a clean bill of health and you no longer have anything to worry about.

    I bet that bakery smells amazing. I want to visit Italy so bad!! And your son is funny- Merry Christmas! :)

  4. My goodness...this post had me drooling over panettone and lusting over Europe. I have the travel bug now! You and your family are just stunning. I can't wait until the day that I can meet you. And I am so sorry to hear about your health problems. I have had a few scares this past year, and I know how those anxious thoughts can be. I'm sending healing and peaceful thoughts your way, my sweet and precious friend.

  5. MMM that Panettone looks amazing! Pastries at lunch?! That cheese?? Oh my I am very jealous. I may just have to try this bread...I'll let you know if I do!

  6. WONDERFUL photos, Lora...they make me want to jump on a flight to Italy...what a fabulous family you have! Fingers crossed you have good news from your doctor this week! xoxo

    PS...lovely panettone!

  7. When's the next flight? The photos make me want to book a trip right now! The Panettone is just beautiful and I would make it, but my hips can't take one more ounce of food! ;) I wish you good luck with your health issue. I know how stressful that can be.

  8. It looks wonderful. Wish I could have been along for the ride on your Italian vacation!

  9. Great photos!! I'm so jealous! The Panettone looks amazing too!

  10. Beautiful Panettone Lora! I am so jealous of all the wonderful pictures of Italy- it looks like you had such a wonderful time. My Oma used to get us a Panettone for Christmas every year, but my stollen took its place this time around :) I hope you had a lovely Christmas with your family!

  11. What a fun post! Looks like you had a fabulous year! The panettone is heavenly!

  12. Your panettone looks delicious but love your stories of travel, family and culture, of home whether you are in Florida or Italy! You paint thousands of pictures! Happy New Year to you and your family Lora!

  13. first and foremost:Cousin Giuseppe is adorable.... But more importantly, your panettone looks gorgeous- love the idea of the little jar of ingredients!

    Hope you had an amazing holiday and a great new year!

  14. I know I'm supposed comment on the pannetone (whic looks wonderful), but you probably shouldn't have included that last picture if you expect my brain to be working now. :)

    I adore, love, am enamored with Italy. I yearned for it as I looked through those wonderful images.

    Ok, now I have to hit post comment so I can scroll back up a little ways. (Yeah, I'm that bad.)

  15. Your panettone looks amazing! As do your photos from Italy. Thank you so much for sharing them with us! I would LOVE to visit italy one day... It's at the top of the list but keeps getting moved aside for something else due to the cost factor. I love the photos of your husbands grandma. I am actually heading out the philippines in a couple weeks to visit with my husbands grandmother so that pic is moving for me.

  16. I have no idea how to even start: the Panettone is beautiful, the cheese makes me drool and I am really really craving Carpaccio, and those soccer players too... on the G note I hope this New Year will bring you more great food, company and health

  17. I think I ate my weight in panettone on my first trip to Rome in 2003. There is actually something extremely similar in the Russian culture but we have it for Easter. Anyways, I was away from my family (lived in England that year) and this reminded me of an old comfort food. Mmm, the briochattone sounds pretty awesome. Maybe I'll be brave and make it one day! :)

  18. Panettone is my favourite holiday season bread. It's so delicous. Yours looks amazing.
    I love going to Italy. I wish I could spend more time there. Happy holidays!

  19. I love your pictures and Panettone! I hope you had a great Christmas and are still enjoying the holiday season :)

  20. This may be my favorite post yet! What a fantastic recipe and the picture with you and your son... just adorable.

  21. what a beautiful post. I loved all the pictures, and especially the panetone recipe. I can't believe it but I haven't had any this year!! I wonder my?? My father usually buys us some and I love to toast up a slice and eat it with butter for breakfast. I have to bookmark this recipe.

    Your photos of your family in Italy get me all sentimental! I wish I could spend some time to get my Italian family better. I may have to take matters into my own hands next summer and plan a trip. :)

    Happy holidays to you...many blessings to you and your family my new friend!!

  22. I love panettone but never had the courage to make my own. yours looks amazing. thanks for sharing the photos from Italy, they all made me day-dreaming :)

    Have a joyful season Lola

  23. Beautiful photos and a gorgeous pannetone! I now wish I was in Italy! :)

  24. Love your brioche-textured Panettone! :-)) Beautiful photo of you and your hubby.

  25. Looks like you had a great time on your trip! The carpaccio looked absolutely amazing -- LOVE that stuff!

    I made panettone for the first time as well...that stuffs not easy. I commend you for attempting it, too. :p

  26. I just finished a slice of Panettone with coffee (store bought) and it was delicious...I can only imagine how fresh baked must taste.
    The poster is too funny, and your kids are just gorgeous :)
    Wishing you a most delightful New Year!

  27. I hope you are feeling better. We always tend to the worst. Somehow women are wired with that "worry" circuit and it is constantly on! Must be some kind of self-defense mechanism that keeps us alert.
    Your Panettone looks great. I saw at Panera Bread the other day and I was thinking I should either buy one or search for the recipe. I don't have to go too far :)

  28. Wow. This has me dying to go to Italy again! I've only been to Rome, Venice and Florence and I'm dying to see more of the country. Love the pictures!

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