Panettone is Italian Christmas cake, it is egg and butter enriched brioche type dough studded with dried fruits. For Italians the smell and taste of panettone is Christmas â€“ it is given as a gift and eaten Christmas morning for breakfast. In Italy they are beautifully wrapped and hung in shop store windows. Traditionally they are made with raisins and candied citrus peel but modern times see them in all sorts of varieties, filled with cream, chocolate, lemon and studded with chocolate pieces, cranberries and any manner of sweet goodies. Panettone has recently made food news. Prices and quality of Panettone vary greatly, from as little as five dollars up to fifty dollars. As in most things, you do get what you pay for, the quality as the price varies greatly. The Italian government is currently petitioning to have panettone protected with a protected as a procuct or origin as parmesan cheese and prosciutto di parma are in order to protect the quality and integrity of the product and name from inferior cheaper versions. Last year the test kitchen had developed a panettone recipe and the leftover paper forms were floating around the kitchen. So I made two to bring to my family for Christmas â€“ they turned out excellent; I used the Canadian Living recipe slightly revised. I studded mine with dried figs and apricots, and flavoured it with vanilla and rum, orange and lemon zest. Wrapped in cellophane and decorated with a spruce bough, my mother thought I had bought it in a fancy shop! Click here to sign up for Christine's Food for Friends e-newsletter!