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And on the tenth day of the 12 Days of Cookbooks I give you Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by Gina DePalma.

While it was published in 2007 and while I’ve owned it since it was published, I really only started to focus on this book during this past year. My birthday cake was courtesy of DePalma’s book, as were a few other recipes that I never blogged about. All were delicious.

To be sure, there are many, many baking books on the market. But to be honest, there are very few good Italian baking books. I would say that DePalma’s must be considered as one of the most definitive books on Italian baking.

Incredibly thorough, her book covers virtually ever “famous” Italian dessert, as well as numerous baked goods that wouldn’t be very familiar to North American audiences.

What I love best about the book is that the recipes straddle the line between traditional and modern. Many of the recipes will have a little twist that leads you to a better place.

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I recently made Baci di Dama for the first time, using DePalma’s recipe. Stunning. Seriously. Without question, they were among the best cookies I’ve made all year.

I could go on and on, but it’s not necessary. Well-written, some really good photos, passionate, well-produced … DePalma’s book has it all.

It would be the perfect gift for anyone that loves to bake, especially Italian sweets. If I didn’t already have the book, I’d be asking for it for Christmas.

Ciao!