Food Network Star Giada De Laurentiis Shares Her Favorite Italian Cookies: ‘Perfect For the Winter Season’

Giada De Laurentiis
Giada De Laurentiis | Michael N. Todaro/FilmMagic

With the holidays almost upon us, it’s that time of year when our attention turns to holiday cooking and baking. To be specific, cookies.

And Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis has a few decadent and delicious suggestions for your holiday cookie platter from her homeland, Italy.

1 of Giada De Laurentiis’ favorite holiday foods

De Laurentiis doesn’t deprive herself during the holidays, saying on her blog Giadzy, “Remember, the holidays are a time to enjoy all of the lovingly-cooked food and indulge a bit, so don’t let yourself feel guilty over it – a bit of a Christmas cookie hangover is inevitable at this time of year!”

She spoke with TV Insider in 2018 about her favorite holiday traditions.

“Panettone is one of my favorite holiday foods,” she said. “I especially love the From Roy Panettone, so much so that I recently collaborated with Chef Roy Shvartzapel to make a chocolate and orange one for the holidays. It’s delicious!”

Her favorite Italian holiday cookies

Growing up in a large Italian family, De Laurentiis says the one item that could be counted on at every gathering was a variety of home-baked cookies.

According to Giadzy, the celebrity chef’s top pick is Amaretti, which are “crisp, chewy almond cookies.” Amaretti cookies are served with dessert wine or espresso following dinner. Add cocoa powder for even more of a treat.

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Her next pick are Biscotti, which means “twice baked.” Crunchy and satisfying, De Laurentiis makes these cookies even more festive. She studs them with pistachios and cranberries and after baking is done, dips them in white chocolate and adds a sprinkle of green and red sugar crystals.

Struffoli completes the Italian cookie table. The marble-sized treats are deep-fried and mixed with honey, then decorated. They’re almost as fun to make as they are to eat.

The Giada At Home star’s complete guide to Italian holiday cookie offerings can be found here.

How De Laurentiis stays balanced during the holidays

In order to enjoy all the decadent food choices during the holiday season, De Laurentiis confesses she’s had to find a way to eat what she likes without guilt.

On Giadzy, she suggested intermittent fasting as a method of eating that’s helped her stay in shape while indulging.

“I’m a huge fan of intermittent fasting, and setting a guideline for yourself can make it easier to not overindulge,” she says. “I recommend trying overnight intermittent fasting for 14 hours and giving yourself a 10 hour window during the day where you can eat.”

The chef adds that eating this way has helped her avoid that awful bloat and food fog that can easily set in during the holidays.

“This gives your digestive system a break to rest and repair, and for me, it also improves my mental clarity, makes me feel less sluggish, and helps regulate blood sugar,” she said. “The key is to do it for one or two days, then take a day off. Give it a try!”