12 Days of Christmas Treats

Holiday gatherings and great food go together, but let’s face it, the festivities also bring a dash of stress. Our fresh, handmade baked goods, sweet and savory, help you pull together great meals with confidence. Macrina has been a secret ingredient in transforming many families’ holiday gatherings into tasty, joyous occasions for over two decades. Knowing your guests will love the food goes a long way to letting you settle into the convivial glow of family, friends, and festive cheer.

1. Cranberry Apricot Nut Loaf

One of our favorite breads for toast, this loaf is perfect for a holiday brunch. Made with locally grown and milled coarse whole-wheat flour from Fairhaven Mills, the hearty texture gets flavor and crunch from Turkish apricots, cranberries, walnuts and pecans. Mildly sour, the savory sweet bread has a hint of anise and cloves. It’s great toasted with butter, or on a festive platter spread with creamy cheeses such as Brie or ricotta.

2. Salmon Spread

Made in-house with premium smoked salmon, lemony cream cheese, briny capers, and fresh herbs, our Salmon Spread makes entertaining PNW-style easy. It’s versatile enough to use spread on toasted baguette slices on a holiday platter, as a brunch addition with our MadRy bagels, a key ingredient in a sandwich, or tossed with fresh pasta as a creamy and flavorful sauce.

3. Cookie Box

We’ve been making holiday cookie boxes since 1994. The cookies are an assortment of Leslie’s family favorites, make great gifts, and are perfect for cookie exchanges with family, neighbors and friends — or you may just want the cookies all for yourself! This year’s lineup includes our Crisp Gingerbread, Chocolate Crinkle, Mexican Wedding Balls, Cranberry Orange Biscotti, Pecan Rosemary Shortbread, and Rugelach.

4. Eggnog Cheesecake

The creamy filling is rich with eggnog, flavored with a touch of brandy, and finished with white chocolate ganache over a ginger molasses cookie crust. Beautifully garnished with seasonal fruit.

5. Mini Chocolate Peppermint Mousse Cake

These single-serving size layer cakes make an excellent dessert centerpiece. Arrange them artistically on a platter with holly leaves or pass them around at a holiday party. Bittersweet chocolate pot de crème is topped with a white chocolate peppermint mousse and covered in chocolate ganache.

6. Black Forest Cake

Our version of this classic German cake is both visually striking and delicious, featuring layers of fudgy chocolate cake soaked in cherry syrup and cherry brandy, layered with sweetened whipped cream, cherries, and ganache.

7. Gingerbread Spice Cup

Single-serving size cakes that will sweeten any holiday gathering. These light, ginger-spiced molasses cakes are baked in an individual paper tulip cup, topped with cream cheese frosting, and a candied ginger garnish.

8. Chocolate Pecan Babka

We make our Chocolate Pecan Babka just a few times a year. The loaf is rich like brioche bread, with an added swirl of chocolate glaze and roasted pecans. It’s delicious simply toasted with butter, but for a special brunch, use it as a base for French toast and serve it with your favorite breakfast sausage, raspberries and sweetened whipped cream!

9. Panettone

Our holidays wouldn’t be complete without this traditional Milanese Christmas bread. The festive toque-shaped yeast bread is lightly sweet, enriched with eggs and butter, and studded with raisins and candied orange and lemon peel. Grab a bottle of prosecco and some mascarpone and invite some friends over for a very Italian holiday celebration.

10. Winter Pear Crown

This savory crown makes a beautiful table centerpiece, or slice into wedges and top with Cambozola for a showy appetizer. Before hand-forming the bread into a crown, we dice the plumpest, Washington state Bartlett pears available and gently mix them into the dough with just enough black pepper to casually announce itself.

11. Gingerbread Decorating Kit

This fun activity is for kids (and kids at heart) of any age. It includes gingerbread figures, red and white sprinkles, three piping bags, and instructions for easy frosting. Use a few drops of food coloring to create colorful frosting options. If sprinkles aren’t enough for you, level up by cutting sartorial accessories like belts, bow ties, gloves and scarfs from candies like licorice and jellybeans. Unleash your creativity!

12. Italian Cream Cake

One of Leslie’s all-time favorites, this luscious, light yellow layer cake has whipped vanilla pastry cream and mascarpone that soak into the cake layers giving it a pudding-like texture. Kumquats add a burst of tangy citrus flavor.

Recipe of the Month: Breakfast Bagel Tartines

Breakfast Bagel Tartine

There will always be a place in my repertoire of favorite brunch items for this quick, luxurious riff on a bistro classic. Tartines, warm open-faced sandwiches, are a staple in Parisian cafés and bistros — and the quality of the bread is paramount. Our MadRy Sourdough Bagels provide a sturdy base for the toppings, and their subtle sourdough taste complements the other flavors. Additionally, the bagel’s center hole is ideally suited for nestling the porchetta, creating a snug pocket to perfectly cradle an egg for baking. Our MadRy bagels come in plain, sesame, poppy, sea salt, everything, and cheese. Choose your favorite. They all work well in this recipe.

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Makes 4 tartines.

Breakfast Bagel Tartines

1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cup fresh chopped herbs (parsley, basil, or oregano work well), divided
¼ tsp kosher salt
2 Macrina MadRy Sourdough Bagels
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (4 oz) spreadable cream cheese
4 slices porchetta
4 eggs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 350°F and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, gently toss the cherry tomatoes with olive oil. Arrange the tomatoes on one of the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with half of the fresh herbs and the kosher salt. Roast for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are just beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Slice the bagels horizontally to maintain their ring shape and arrange them, cut side up, on the second baking sheet. Butter the bagels and toast in the oven for 3 minutes.

Spread a quarter of the cream cheese on each bagel half. Add a slice of porchetta on top, nestling it into the bagel hole to create a pocket. Carefully crack an egg into each pocket and garnish each with a quarter of the roasted tomatoes and a Tbsp of Parmesan cheese.

Return to the oven and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the eggs are just set.

Finish by sprinkling the remaining herbs over the tartines. Serve warm and enjoy!

Breakfast Bagel Tartine

Appetizers for Your Holiday Gatherings

Keeping a stash of Macrina’s flatbread and crostini on hand helps make holiday entertaining easy — with impressive results. This month, I’m showcasing two elegant appetizers that use our new holiday spreads, alongside two treasured standbys. In addition, I’m sharing my recipes for two great holiday appetizers: Potato Latkes with Spicy Shrimp & Sour Cream and Chinese Meatballs with Peanut Sauce. Some of these dishes take longer to prepare than others, but all are relatively quick and present well. Holiday entertaining can be stressful, but these crowdpleasers will lighten your load and bring joy and satisfied smiles to your festivities.

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Each appetizer serves 8.

Macrina’s Rye Crostini with Our New Kale & Roasted Artichoke Spread and Buttered Dungeness Crab
In a small sauté pan, melt 4 Tbsp unsalted butter. Add 2 oz of fresh crabmeat and cook just long enough to warm it through (less than a minute). Turn off the heat. Season the crab with ⅛ tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice. Arrange 8 crostini on a plate. Spread 2 tsp of Kale and Roasted Artichoke Spread onto each, then evenly top with the warm, buttery crab. Drizzle with any remaining warm butter from the pan. Garnish with finely chopped fresh chives or parsley.

Macrina’s Greek Olive Crostini with Softened Goat Cheese and Project Barnstorm Plum Conserve
Bring 4 oz of goat cheese to room temperature (about an hour). In a medium bowl, combine the goat cheese, ¼ cup whipping cream and ⅛ tsp kosher salt. Use a whisk or fork to blend the mixture until you have a spreadable consistency. Arrange 8 crostini on a plate. Spread 2 tsp of the mixture on the crostini and top with 1½ tsp of Plum Conserve.

Macrina’s Sardinian Flatbread with Holiday Smoked Salmon Spread* and Microgreens
Take two flatbread sheets and snap each of them into four pieces. With the curved side up, spread 2 tsp of the Smoked Salmon Spread on each piece. Top each with a pinch of microgreens and a dash of fresh lemon juice.
*Our Smoked Salmon Spread will be available in December. We recommend our Smoked Trout Spread for gatherings in November.

Macrina’s Cranberry Apricot Nut Crostini with Burrata, Coppa and Pomegranate Seeds
Cut the burrata ball in half. Then cut each half in 4 slices. Arrange 8 crostini on a plate and top each with a piece of coppa, a slice of burrata, and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. Garnish with finely chopped fresh rosemary, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt.

Potato Latkes with Spicy Shrimp & Sour Cream

1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into quarters
3 tsp kosher salt, divided
2 scallions, coarsely chopped
1 egg
2 Tbsp gluten-free flour mix (or unbleached all-purpose flour)
⅛ tsp black pepper
1½ tsp chimichurri seasoning
½ cup pure olive oil, divided
8 shelled raw shrimp (16–20 size)
2 Tbsp white wine
2 Tbsp butter
¼ cup sour cream

Place the potato in a saucepan, covered with water and 1 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until the potato is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the water and let cool.

Using the medium holes of a box grater, shred the cooked potato. In a medium bowl, combine the shredded potato, scallions, egg, gluten-free flour mix, 1 tsp salt and the pepper. Mix well.

Season the shrimp with the chimichurri seasoning and the remaining 1 tsp salt.

Pour ¼ cup oil into a large cast iron or non-stick sauté pan and set it over medium-high heat. Once hot, add golf-ball-sized scoops of the potato latke batter. Flatten and fry until both sides are crisp and browned. Avoid overcrowding; you will likely need to sauté the latkes in two batches. Once cooked, set them aside to keep warm.

Clear away any stuck bits from the pan, then add the remaining ¼ cup olive oil and place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Just before the shrimp is finished, add the white wine and butter. Swirl the pan to create a simple sauce. (Note: if there is excess oil, pour it off before adding the wine.)

Top each latke with a shrimp, a spoonful of the pan sauce, and a dollop of sour cream. For a great presentation, garnish with chopped herbs.

Chinese Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp onion, finely diced
1½ tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp soy sauce
8 oz ground chicken meat
¼ cup scallions, finely diced
¼ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 egg

½ tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ tsp fresh garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
½ cup water
¾ tsp sriracha sauce

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add the onions and sauté for about 1 minute until they turn translucent. Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and allow it to cool.

In a separate small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and soy sauce. Mix well and let it sit for 5 minutes.

To the cooled onion mixture, add the ground chicken, scallions, cilantro, and breadcrumb mixture. Mix thoroughly. Then, incorporate the egg to bind the ingredients together.

Form the mixture into quarter-sized balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add more water or vinegar to your taste. The sauce will hold in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Serve the warm meatballs on a pool of the peanut sauce, each skewered with a toothpick.

Pan de Muerto: Order Ahead for Dia de los Muertos

Pan de Muerto is a soft, round, sweet yeast-risen bread –– similar in texture to challah –– with a crunchy cinnamon sugar glaze studded with fresh orange zest and spiced with orange flower water, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. We lay two crossed links of dough over the top to symbolize crossbones, representing those no longer among the living. The bread is excellent sliced and toasted for breakfast or dipped in Mexican hot chocolate as an afternoon snack.

History of Pan de Muerto

The bread of the dead — is traditionally placed on Dia de los Muertos ofrendas to celebrate a family’s ancestors. The Day of the Dead, celebrated on November 1–2, is a time when the souls of the dead reunite with the living. Pan de Muerto is taken to the gravesite, often along with photos and the favorite foods of the deceased and is eaten there. Food is very important to the celebration, for it is believed that the dead are drawn back to the living by the scent of their favorite foods. The tradition dates back hundreds of years and honors the belief, held by many in the Latino and Indigenous communities, that their ancestors are a part of the community — present on another plane of existence. Macrina’s Pan de Muerto is made in honor of this wonderful tradition.
Our Pan de Muerto is available online and in cafés until 11/2. Each loaf feeds four living souls or countless spirits present on another plane.

Order ahead now! 

Recipe of the Month: Apple Pie Braid

Sometimes you want to shake things up when making apple pies in the fall. I love using phyllo dough for its crisp and light texture, nicely contrasting with the baked apple filling. Phyllo layers are found in the freezer section of most grocery stores and offer many options for savory and sweet treats. If the thought of working with pastry intimidates you, rest assured phyllo is your friend. The key is to prevent it from drying out as you assemble the braid. Simply keep it covered with plastic, and you should be fine. The end result? A stunning braided pie with a buttery, flaky crust.
-Leslie Mackie

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Makes 4-6 Servings.

3 large Granny Smith apples
¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
1 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 sheets of phyllo dough, 9 x 14-inch (covered with plastic and defrosted)
1 Tbsp powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 2 rimmed baking pans by lining them with parchment paper.

Peel, core, and slice the apples into ½-inch wedges. In a medium bowl, toss the apple wedges with ¼ cup sugar, flour and cinnamon. Spread evenly in one layer on one of the lined baking sheets.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. This step evaporates some of the juices, helping prevent the base of the tart from getting soggy.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a separate small bowl, make the vanilla sugar by mixing the remaining ½ cup sugar with the vanilla extract.

On the second baking pan, lay a sheet of phyllo dough with its long side parallel to the long side of the baking sheet. Lightly brush the surface with melted butter. Layer on the second sheet of phyllo and brush again with butter. Add the third layer, lightly brushing with butter, and sprinkling a heaping tablespoon of vanilla sugar evenly over the sheet. Repeat this same procedure for the next 4 sheets. For the 8th sheet, lightly brush with butter, then arrange the baked apples lengthwise in the center, forming a 3-inch-wide row.

Along both lengthwise edges of the phyllo, use scissors to make 5 evenly spaced cuts, each about 2½-inches long, at a slight angle toward the center. This will leave you with six strips on each side. Fold these strips over the apples, braiding them in the center (start at one end, crossing alternating strips to create a braided pattern). Brush the braid with the remaining butter and sprinkle any remaining vanilla sugar on top.

Increase the oven temperature to 375°F. Bake the apple pie braid on the center rack for 40 to 45 minutes, or until light golden brown. Let cool for 30 minutes.

Before serving, dust the braid with powdered sugar. Enjoy with sweetened whipped cream or your favorite fall ice cream!

Employee Recipe Series: Matt Galvin’s Bui Bun Meatball Sub

We’re celebrating our 30th Anniversary by sharing some of our staff’s favorite recipes using Macrina Bakery products.

You know those nights when you want a break from cooking, but you and the kids are famished? Matt Galvin, co-owner of Macrina, knows them all too well. With four kids — hungry from soccer, ballet, and life — he would often turn to the cheesy, saucy, messy splendor of a meatball sandwich made with DeLaurenti’s meatballs, marinara sauce, and melted fresh mozzarella on Macrina’s Bui Buns. “The whole thing comes together in minutes, and you can scale it if, say, one of your kids brings a friend or three.”

Matt found a love of food working in many local restaurants and developed a fondness for Italian food while living in Italy. “The meatball sandwich is an Italian-American creation,” he says. “Like most Italian dishes, it’s just a few ingredients in the right proportion. The quality of the ingredients makes all the difference. Use excellent meatballs, fresh mozzarella, and the right bread, and you’ve got a dynamite meal.”

Macrina’s head baker, Phuong Bui, designed these buns specifically for the banh mi, the famous sandwich from his native Vietnam. It boasts a crisp crust and tender, airy crumb that Matt says is perfect for the ultimate meatball sandwich.

“DeLaurenti makes the best meatballs,” says Matt. “I heat them in DeLaurenti’s marinara sauce, slice up a few balls of Ferndale Farms fresh mozzarella, fill a Bui Bun with a couple of meatballs, top it with a spoonful of marinara and a few slices of mozzarella, then broil it briefly to melt the cheese. It’s pretty simple.”

Employee Recipe Series: Corrina Steffens-Highley: Charcuterie, Soup Bowls & More

We’re celebrating our 30th Anniversary by sharing some of our staff’s favorite recipes using Macrina Bakery products.

Corrina Steffens-Highley, the Assistant manager at our Kent café, oversees the staff and operations at the café. When asked about the best compliment she has ever received, Corrina doesn’t hesitate: “Someone told me I have a glowing personality.” As the morning rush begins, that glow fills the café as she greets many regular customers by name. “It’s not just work to me,” she explains. “It’s like a second family.”

At the end of the workday, Corrina returns home to her first family. Hailing from a large Italian-American family, she has always found meals to be central to family life and takes pleasure in hosting meals at her home and sharing food with her extended family.

“I love to find creative uses for Macrina products,” she says. One of her recent favorites is a spin on the classic cream cheese and lox on bagels. “Our Savory Pinwheel is a lot lighter than a bagel and the flavors go really well together. Simply cut it in half horizontally, wam it gently, spread one side with cream cheese and top it with the salmon. It’s so good.”Another favorite is using the Mini Casera loaf as a soup bowl. “I cut the top off the loaf, hollow it out, and fill it with clam chowder or tomato bisque,” she says. This works well with both fresh and day-old loaves.

Corrina excels at transforming Macrina’s leftover breads into tasty appetizers. “Butter boards are an excellent starter. Basically, you soften butter and add whatever you like. Roasted garlic is great, as is lemon dill,” says Corrina. She creates crostini with old bread by slicing it, brushing both sides with olive oil, and baking them at 350°F for 10–15 minutes. The crostini are perfect for dipping into flavored butters.Crostini (or Sardinian flatbread) also work well on charcuterie boards. Corrina uses a large cutting board as a canvas. “I think of it as a big picture,” she says. “You fill in the picture with sliced meats, cheeses, olives, and crostini. In the end, it looks beautiful. It’s my art.”

DanceChance: Expanding Access to Ballet

Macrina is a Proud Supporter of DanceChance.

In 1994, Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) launched DanceChance, a program aimed at discovering ballet talent in Seattle’s public schools. Nearly three decades later, the initiative has impacted over 1,400 students across 20+ schools. Each fall, PNB educators visit third-grade classrooms, offering interactive dance sessions that serve as many students’ first exposure to ballet.

Selected students, showing promise in attributes like flexibility and focus, are invited to train at PNB School for free, including transportation and attire. The program not only democratizes access to ballet but also instills valuable life skills such as teamwork and perseverance.

DanceChance has produced professional dancers, including current PNB members Kuu Sakuragi and Joh Morrill. Others have joined renowned dance companies worldwide.

At Macrina Bakery, we’re proud to support DanceChance, a program that brings joy and opportunities to deserving young talents.

Employee Recipe Series: Leslie Mackie’s Brioche Bread Pudding

We’re celebrating our 30th Anniversary by sharing some of our staff’s favorite recipes using Macrina Bakery products.

As we all know, many of the best things in life are unplanned. This delightful creation was serendipitously born when Leslie Mackie, the founder of Macrina Bakery, found herself with a leftover loaf of our Columba Pasquale — a brioche-like Easter bread enriched with brandy, interspersed with candied orange peel, and topped with sliced almonds — and a bag of fresh Bing cherries, just in time for a Mother’s Day brunch.

“It was one of the best bread puddings I’ve ever made,” she says. “Columba Pasquale has a great texture for bread pudding, and the sliced almonds, candied orange peel, and brandy in the bread were great with the tart cherries.”

Since we only bake Columba Pasquale for Easter, Leslie adapted the recipe to our Brioche loaf, which is available throughout the year. (Challah is another delicious alternative.)

This recipe calls for fresh cherries, but you can also use dried cherries. Just reduce the amount to ¾ cup and soak them in warm water for 10 minutes to rehydrate before adding them to the bread.

Leslie’s Brioche Bread Pudding Recipe

Use one 10-inch Pie Pan; Serves 6


1 loaf of Macrina’s Brioche bread
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup Bing cherries, halved and pitted
1½ cups heavy cream
1½ cups whole milk
3 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
1 tsp brandy
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 Tbsp candied orange peel, diced
⅓ cup sliced almonds


Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Cut ⅓ off the Brioche loaf and reserve for another use. Remove crusts from the remainder then cut into ¼-inch thick slices. Cut each slice in half to create “tiles” (roughly 2-inches by 4-inches).

Place the sliced bread on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Flip the bread pieces, then toast for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove the toasted bread from the oven and let it cool slightly. Brush both sides of the bread with melted butter (reserve a little bit to brush your baking dish to prevent sticking).

While the bread is toasting and cooling, pit and halve your fresh cherries. Toss them in 1½ Tbsp of sugar and let them sit for about 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the heavy cream, milk, eggs, remaining sugar, brandy, and vanilla extract. Whisk well and set aside.

Brush a 10-inch pie dish with some of the remaining melted butter.

Arrange the toasted and buttered brioche “tiles” in the pie dish in a rosette format. Start by forming a circle with the “tiles” along the edge of the dish, then continue to arrange them in smaller, concentric circles, moving towards the center of the dish. Cut half-sized “tiles” for the center of the rose. Layer in the candied orange peel and sliced almonds. Scatter the sugared cherries evenly over the bread.

Pour the cream mixture over the bread and cherries, ensuring all the bread is soaked. Press down lightly with a spatula to make sure all the bread is in contact with the liquid. Let it sit for about 10–15 minutes so the bread can absorb the custard mixture.

Cover the baking dish with foil and place it into a larger pan. Pour hot water into the larger pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the pie dish to create a water bath.

Bake the pudding for 50–60 minutes, or until the custard is set.

Remove the foil and bake for another 15–20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. A knife inserted into the center should come out clean.

Serve warm.

Classic Ricotta Tart

Having lived in the North End of Boston for three years, I had the pleasure of frequenting some of the best Italian bakeries — the inspiration behind this tart. This rendition is adapted from a beloved recipe in our first cookbook. The Italian pasta frolla dough is versatile and straightforward to make. You’ll find yourself dreaming up other rustic tarts that it would serve well. My favorite filling combines rich ricotta cheese, dried cranberries, hazelnuts and bittersweet chocolate chips. However, feel free to swap out the dried fruit and nuts as whimsy or inspiration strikes. Fresh berries and a glass of Vin Santo make the perfect accompaniments to this lovely Italian tart.
-Leslie Mackie

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Makes one 7-inch tart; serves 6

2½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
⅓ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground anise
10 Tbsp (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp heavy cream

⅓ cup dried cranberries
2 cups seasonal berries
3¾ cup whole milk ricotta
½ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp unbleached all-purposed flour
¼ tsp salt
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp orange zest
4 egg yolks
¼ cup hazelnuts, roasted and coarsely ground
½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp unbleached all-purposed flour
1 egg + 1 tsp watter for egg wash
2 Tbsp raw sugar (Turbinado)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the ground anise and mix until well combined. Place bowl on mixer, and fit with the paddle attachment. On low speed, gradually add the butter cubes. Continue mixing until the texture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract and heavy cream. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together, about 30 seconds.

Transfer the dough onto a clean surface. Divide it into two portions: one larger and the other about a third of the size. Shape each portion into a flat disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

On a floured surface, roll out the larger dough disk into an 11-inch circle with a thickness of ⅛-inch. Carefully transfer it to a 7-inch x 1½-inch cake pan, pressing into the bottom and up the sides. Ensure there’s a ½-inch overhang around the top edges of the pan.

Roll out the smaller dough disk into a 7-inch circle, also with a thickness of ⅛-inch. Cut two 2-inch vents in this top layer of dough. Set the dough-lined cake pan aside as you make the filling.

Rinse the dried cranberries under water to rehydrate them. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, sugar, flour, salt, vanilla extract and orange zest. This can be mixed by hand or using a stand mixer until combined well.

Gradually add the egg yolks, ensuring each yolk is fully incorporated before adding the next. Gently fold in the rehydrated cranberries, ground hazelnuts, and chocolate chips, making sure they are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

In a seperate small bowl, whisk together the egg and water to make the egg wash.

Transfer the filling into the dough-lined cake pan, smoothing the top to ensure it’s level. Top the filling with the 7-inch pasta frolla circle. Brush the perimeter of the top dough with egg wash. Fold the ½-inch overhang from the base dough over the top dough, pressing gently to seal the tart.

Brush the entire top of the tart with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar. If you have excess dough, you can roll it out and cut decorative roses or other designs and place them on top of tart.

Refrigerate the assembled tart for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Bake the tart for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the crust turns a golden brown and the filling is set.

Allow the tart to cool for at least 2 hours before serving. Enjoy with fresh berries and a glass of Vin Santo!