Sunday, 29 May 2011

Panzerottini Dolci ( Cute Sweet Half Moons filled with Chocolate or Jam and Cream Cheese)

I have loving memories of some of the sweet things my mum used to cook: the almond cakes with a burnt, black bottom, her delicious focaccia, with a burnt base, the black toast she used to like (you had to toast it twice, so it would burn) and... when she bought bread, it had to be slightly burnt.

She once made  black cherry jam... needless to say, it really was black! It stuck to the bottom of the pan and burnt! Needles to say: it was fantastic for being slightly burnt. We just loved it. Our mother was a chef... she was just much better at savoury, than sweet things, as, like me, she didn't really like cakes and sweet stuff. But she had the Mida's touch: everything she touched became GOLD or got burnt!

One Christmas she made these little panzerottini... little pastry half moons filled with jam. I was so excited she had made something different from the usual, for Christmas, I had to have a taste... my goodness me... "What spices did you put in this?" Well... she'd only put origano in her little half moons. Not good... it should have been cannella (cinnamon!)

I found a recipe for my mum's panzerottini and I actually made some. I didn't use any spices in mine, but I did fill them with hazelnut chocolate spread and... dark cherry jam and soft (crean) cheese! They look so yummy!

Panzerottini dolci

Sweet Half Moons


(This quantity made 25 small half moons)

300 g (11oz) white flour
50g (2oz) butter
1 egg
1 tbs sugar
pinch of salt
rind of 1 lemon
1 tsp baking powder (if baking)

For the filling:

cherry Jam
cream Cheese
some icing sugar

preheat oven (160C) if you wish to bake

I placed the flour on a board, then made a well. In the middle of this I put: sugar,1 pinch of salt, my butter, 1 whole egg, the rind of 1 lemon. I mixed all the ingredients, till a soft plyable dough was formed. My dough was a bit dry, so I added some cold water, to soften it.
I wrapped in foil and refrigerated for half an hour...

....Half an hour later... I rolled out the dough, onto a floured surface, cut out discs, about 8 cm in diameter. I filled half the discs with chocolate spread (over half a teasp is enough) and the other half I filled with a very small amount of cream cheese and cherry jam.

Filling my panzerottini

I closed the discs using cold water and a fork,to make half moon "pockets" then fried in really hot oil. I tried baking some of my panzerottini, but they were too hard, as there's no yeast or baking powder  in this recipe. I decided that next time I would eitherjust  fry my panzerottini, or add a teaspoon of baking powder to the mixture, to make the recipe more suitable for baking (160 C)I actually think the recipe would work batter with the addition of baking powder, whichever cooking method you use.

I dipped cherries in melted chocolate, to go with my panzerottini and decided I wanted my presentation to look Victorian. It looked so  good... even if I had to only eat this with my eyes, I would be happy!

YUM! Lovely, dredged in icing sugar



  1. Anna, they look perfect! The lovely delicate litle pastries and those beautiful cherries. If I'm having sweet things I love something I can nibble at as a treat. I also love your old fashioned roses that you have added to the photo for a Victorian feel. I feel as if I can smell all the delicious scents!

  2. You must have spotted my Rosa Mundi, Jane! It's a beautiful rose, a very old one. I love roses ans lilies.

    The cakes were good, but I feel I should find a pastry recipe suitable for baking. Will try... maybe a rich shortcrust would do.

  3. Yummy...looks perfectly delicious!!!

  4. Ciao, Ivan! Glad you liked it! I made your favourites, today: rollatine di melanzane filled with mozzarella, parsley and garlic. I took photos and will post the recipe, soon!

    A presto


  5. Anna - I am very much enjoying your blog and love how you can quickly recite a menu from the top of your head. Your mum sounds very special. My late mother baked the best breads and cakes. She did not have the same imagination when it came to the main course, however produce and meats and fish were always the freshest.
    My best

  6. Hi Helen! I'm glad you are enjoying and reading my blog... I really enjoy writing and telling a little story, now and then and, like you, I write poetry.

    I'm glad to discover so many people love Italy. It's such a beautiful country, isn't it? I saw your fantastic paintings and, amongst them one or two which I immediately recognized as being places in Italy! Very nice!

    I tried joining your blog, as I would like to follow, but I don't seem to be able to find the FOLLOW "sign" I'll try again. Also, I can't see my followers anymore! I only "saw" you through reading comments!I'm a bit lost...