Mary Ann's Blog

Delicious December Delicacies

Every October Mom started her Christmas baking by loading in 25 pound bags of flour, countless dozens of eggs, butter and sugar. This was serious business because Christmas cookies were give-aways for everyone. I remember the large metal tins that the freshly baked cookies were stored in and placed in the unheated room upstairs that acted like a cold storage freezer. This room was off limits to us and a sign in mom’s handwriting posted to the door simply said “don't even think about it.” But I did, often snitching a cookie or two and rearranging the contents so nothing looked out of place. The week before Christmas, the various varieties of cookies were packaged in cellophane and ribbon and given away. I have continued that tradition, making many of those childhood cookies. These apricot bars were my favorite and they will be yours too.

Get the recipe:

It is not Christmas in Italy without panettone. Many commercial varieties are available and they are very good but nothing beats homemade and this bread takes a bit of time but on Christmas morning it is the first thing we open!

Here's my recipe:


  1. Susan S.'s avatar

    Susan S.

    I'm watching you on PBS Create right now. I've always enjoyed your shows. I've learned a lot from you. I really enjoy that you don't just demonstrate a recipe, but you teach us all about the ingredients, techniques, and history. The apricot bars sound heavenly! My Grandma always made dried apricot pie for Christmas day. Oh how I would love to taste that pie again. No one's been able to replicate it, not even me. I look forward to seeing my Grandma Mac in Heaven, and since it IS Heaven, I am anticipating her waiting with a freshly baked apricot pie.

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