The feather-light, candied citrus-studded cake that's found in storefront windows and many, many dessert tables across Italy during December. If Italy had to elect a national Christmas dessert, this would be the candidate.
The texture is fluffy like a soft pillow, and the dough peels off in long strips like cotton candy. What you can't finish after dinner turns into incredible fodder for French toast. Or serve with some gelato, draped in a thin coat of a dessert wine, like moscato.
Wrapped and ribboned, perfect for gifting. And though it has no preservatives, a panettone will last for months—so even if it gets lost under the tree in the midst of all the festivities, it'll still be great when you rediscover it days or weeks later.