Recipes that capture the flavors of la dolce vita, from Bologna to Brooklyn—Italian and Italian American-ish cakes, cookies, pies, and pastries, from the James Beard Award–nominated brains behind one of America’s best bakeries

A joyous celebration of Italian, American, and Italian American tastes and traditions, Dolci! is a compendium of molto delizioso baked goods from both sides of the Atlantic. In almost a hundred recipes, James Beard–nominated baker Renato Poliafito pays homage to pastries of the Old World and the New—with perfected versions of classics like Pastiera and Torta Caprese, Honey-Ricotta Black and Whites, and Butter Cookies.

Poliafito puts his own unique spin on the baking traditions of both countries with recipes of his own invention that are a mashup of Italian flavors and American innovation. Think Aperol Spritz Cake, Italian Krispie Treats, Malted Tiramisu, Panettone Bread Pudding, and Mocha Orange Whoopie Pies. In addition to the many cakes, pies, tarts, and cookies, Poliafito also shares a host of savory recipes: Sourdough Focaccias, Perfect Grissini, Cacio e Pepe Arancini—and for good measure, Italian-inflected cocktails (Amaro Root Beer Float!). A vibrant comingling of two great culinary cultures filtered through the mind of an American with the heart of an Italian, Dolci! hits the sweet spot between Italian and American baking.

RENATO POLIAFITO is a two-time James Beard Award nominee and the owner of Ciao, Gloria, a bakery and café in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, that opened in 2019. This is his fifth cookbook, but he considers Dolci! his first “solo album.”

CASEY ELSASS is a food writer, recipe developer, and cookbook author living in Brooklyn, New York.

“Renato Poliafito’s excellent new cookbook, Dolci!, is a double delight. First of all, it is a treat just to flip through the pages and admire the photographs by Kevin Miyazaki. They will make you not only want to make the recipes but travel to Italy. And secondly, Renato’s stunning array of sweet and savory dishes is so tempting the only problem you will have is picking which one to make. The Sicilian Sticky Buns or the Tricolore Bombolini? The Limoncello Pistachio Tart or Chocolate Amaro Pecan Pie? Such difficult—and delicious—decisions!” —Nancy Silverton, founder of La Brea Bakery and chef/owner of the Mozza Restaurant Group

Dolci! is beautiful, evocative, and practical—a brilliant hat trick: The pictures are dreamy; Renato’s stories transport us to the places that shaped his passion for baking; the recipes are road maps to making every day more delicious. As much a love letter to the baking traditions of two cultures as a cookbook to treasure, Dolci! is sweet in every way.” —Dorie Greenspan, New York Times best-selling cookbook author

“I actually cheered out loud when Renato told me he was writing a new cookbook—that’s how wonderful his cooking is and how much I need (and you do too!) a new collection of his recipes to make at home.” —Deb Perelman, food writer and cookbook author, Smitten Kitchen Keepers

“Renato Poliafito hits the sweet spot in Dolci!, with favorite desserts from his popular (and my favorite) bakery in Brooklyn—Ciao, Gloria. He turns his years of baking experience and his Italian American heritage into reimagined rainbow cookies (a cake, Spumoni Loaf!), Amaretto Caramel Brownies, and a bitter/sweet Chocolate Amaro Pecan Pie, as well as savory snacks for aperitivo. Grazie mille to Renato for sharing this outstanding collection of recipes, so anyone . . . and everyone, can make them at home.” —David Lebovitz, author of My Paris Kitchen and Drinking French

“Bravo, Renato, I love this book! Although I am a savory chef, I adore my desserts. Now that I’ve found Dolci!, I know where to go for the recipes. It encompasses everything from traditional Italian to Italian American to American favorites: crostatas, biscotti, tortas, and spoon desserts, along with specialties like Zeppole di San Giuseppe, Torrone, Rum Babà, Cannoli Croccante, and more. It also includes breads, focaccias, pizza, and favorite snacks like arancini, suppli, and Mozzarella in Carrozza. There’s even a chapter that includes a few cocktails so popular at the Italian aperitivo. A must-have recipe book for your cookbook shelf.” —Lidia Bastianich, author of Lidia’s From Our Family Table to Yours

“Picking up Dolci! brought me back to every incredible food trip I have had in Italy and made me want to book a flight back right now. In lieu of that, I can’t wait to take the recipes in this book and bake to my heart’s content in my kitchen. From old favorites like Cassata to exciting new recipes like Aperol Spritz Cake (yes, please!), Renato has captured the joy and spirit of the beloved Italian grandmother combined with the science-minded pastry chef and created a book you’ll turn to again and again.” —Joanne Chang, pastry chef/founder, Flour Bakery + Cafe

“Renato’s pastries are so lovely, so delicious, and so transportive that you may miss what props it all up: a meticulous attention to detail, a chef’s eye for organization, and a unique point of view that intersects beloved Italian (cassata!) and American (bundt!) baking traditions.” —Natasha Pickowicz, James Beard–nominated pastry chef and author of More Than Cake

Dolci! gives you the permission slip you’ve been waiting for to embrace the Italian art of savoring the sweetness of life. Each creative treat will undoubtedly make you hungry and transform any moment into a spirited occasion.” —Jerrelle Guy, author of Black Girl Baking and founder of CFB Kitchen

“I have been a fan of Renato and his baking skills since his time at Baked, the cult bakery in Brooklyn that launched a thousand brookies. I was relieved and delighted when he opened Ciao, Gloria, an impeccably designed mirror of his Italian American heritage. In Dolci!, Renato, with his unbridled love of Ferrero Rocher and Nutella (same, Renato, same), pushes this synergy further, filling the book with seductive modern classics. There is a thrill- ing tension between American and Italian flavors and techniques, blended so seamlessly that it feels natural and intuitive. Because, of course, every tiramisu needs malted milk powder. And who doesn’t want a taralli that tastes like a Cheez-It? Or a black-and-white cookie, so quintessentially NYC, made with ricotta and honey. Properly genius and an essential addi- tion to your baking collection.” —Miroslav Uskokovic, pastry chef

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