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Mar 27, 2012 08:51 PM

Help with Italian dessert

I'm searching for reasonably authentic Italian desserts that can be served at a buffet dinner - preferably finger-friendly. I'd like to avoid the obvious - cannoli, tiramisu (not too finger-friendly, as well) and find something that is not too challenging to make and can sit at room temp. for a while.

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  1. How about tiramisu cupcakes?

    1. Maybe bruti ma buoni, those hazelnut meringue cookies?

      1. An assortment of homemade biscotti might be nice. They can be made well in advance, as well.

        1. How about a crostada, a rustic fruit tart?

          1 Reply
          1. re: escondido123

            Crostata. They're not usually considered rustic either! But it's a good idea, but only if you make the pastry really well. Otherwise they can be hard and dry.

            Brutti (two Ts) ma buoni are wonderful. Also cantucci or tozzetti.

            A torta di ricotta or torta della nonna can be sliced and negotiated on a paper napkin. There is a torta di riso from somewhere in the north that is very could and should be manageable with fingers. It's not really the season, but if you can find chestnut flour, castagnaccio would be perfect too. For finger desserts, Italians will also do all the usual messy stuff but in miniature, mini-cannoli, etc.

          2. Don't forget about fruit. My Italian family members always finish their meals with some kind of fresh fruit.

            There's even a saying, sort of like 'scraping the bottom of the barrel', or 'game over': "qui siamo alla frutta!" = "we've arrived at the fruit!".

            Pineapple is popular and can be eaten with toothpicks.