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Calling all bakers!!

We will be visiting an older couple that is having their 50th anniversary.

It will only be the four of us, as they are celelebrating their anniversary in Italy.

It is a casual meeting, however I would love to bake something elegant to bring.

I would greatly appreciate suggestions with recipes, please keep in mind we are not big on sugary sweets.

Thank you to all the wonderful bakers on this site.

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  1. what a lovely gesture! i think it would be really nice to bring them an Italian dessert in light of their impending trip.

    random ideas for things that don't necessarily have to be cloyingly sweet:
    - ricotta cheesecake
    - rainbow cookies
    - biscotti
    - olive oil cake
    - torta della nonna

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I like these suggestions, have a soft spot for ricotta cheesecake w/ marsala raisins.

      I'd also add an orange polenta cake--the tartness of the orange takes away from the sweetness and you can control the glaze.

      http://scarpettadolcetto.wordpress.co...

    2. Crostata. Their charm lies in their rustic look ( no pressure for picture-perfect) And you can use any flavor fruit jam the recipients prefer.

      1. I know that this isn't something to be baked, but I love cannoli. Other things that don't have to be baked are tiramisu or a berry salad with a tiny dash of alcohol in it. If not because it is something that has to be baked then I really like the ricotta cheesecake idea or a custard pie.

        1. If you don't want sweet, you could do a focaccia or other Italian bread - focaccia is fun, though, because you can be creative with toppings (or leave it plain).

          1. Thank you all for your suggestions. I was thinking more along the line of an elegant cake...
            I didn't mention earlier that they are also italian and so to make a ricotta cheesecake or tiramisu doesn't seem special enough....I think?? I might be putting more pressure on myself then need be, cuz I would like it to be elegantly italian but not something that a nonna would be making herself.....trying to out-do a nonna's tiramisu, crostata or ricotta sweet is just impossible!!!
            I have placed another posting under a different heading in hopes that I get more suggestions.
            I really appreciate all of your responses, so much that I made a crostata this afternoon just for us!
            Thank's goodness I didn't have any ricotta cuz I would have baked one of those.
            The foccacia is something I have made on occasion and don't feel I have mastered baking bread, though it seems easy, the flavours don't hold up once it's cold or the next day....
            Once again, thank you for taking the time to respond and if you have any other suggestions please don't hesitate to send them!

            6 Replies
            1. re: heylids

              Rainbow Cookie Cake:
              http://www.alwaysorderdessert.com/200...

              or a chocolate-hazelnut torte...
              http://www.joyofbaking.com/ChocolateH...

              or chocolate-almond...
              http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

              oh, and there's no need to start another thread - you just end up with two similar discussions going on at the same time, particularly since you've now clarified it here and asked specifically for cake suggestions.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                That chocolate-almond torte in the seriouseats.com link is really wonderful. It is not fancy-looking, so won't suit if that's what you're looking for, but it has a very sophisticated flavor and is quite easy to make.

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  Thank's caitlin, I think I might bake the almond chocolate, my only question, is it very sweet? It looks lovely and isn't anything she would probable bake herself. The bonus is that is it simple and easy to bake.

                  1. re: heylids

                    No, it is not very sweet. As it uses unsweetened chocolate and plain almonds, it's quite restrained in sweetness.

                    1. re: heylids

                      Caitlin beat me to it - i specifically suggested it because it's *not* extremely sweet - i know that's what you wanted.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Thank's Goodhealthgourmet and Caitlin McGrath.
                        BTW that cookie cake looks vibrant!!!
                        Chowser's suggestion looks good too, hummmm brown butter!

                        Some very nice suggestions and simple. I was getting myself a bit stressed thinking big and fancy but these torte'd are elegant and uncomplicated. Let's the ingredients speak for themselves without over complicating the matter.
                        That's what I love about this community, they always put me on the right track!
                        Thx...