The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — here are lots of Italian cookies sold in the Niagara region, but Rosa Strangio said she could never find any like those she makes in her new bakery.
Strangio has lived in the area for about 20 years, but there were certain flavors and treats she missed from her hometown of Calabria, Italy.
Now, those cookies and desserts are available in her new bakery, Calabria’s, named after her home town and located near the Niagara Falls International Airport, at 10065 Niagara Falls Blvd.
“It’s something we’ve always talked about doing,” said Strangio about her new venture with her husband, Andrea, a bus driver for the Niagara-Wheatfield School District.
The urge to open a bakery has become stronger over the years for the mother of two, who explained that she was one of those people that, whenever she brought something she baked to a gathering, people would tell her she needed to open a bakery of her own.
She remembers taking an anniversary cake to a local Italian restaurant for a large family celebration and the staff came out of the kitchen to see the beautiful silver and black cake she’d had made, decorated with silver polka dots.
So dreams encouraged by friends and family came to life in March in a little cafe serving cakes, pastries and cookies.
Inside a colorful cookie case is a wide assortment of Italian cookies and pastries, including those she could not find in all the years she’s lived in the states.
There are fried and sugared twig-like cookies called nocatole, traditionally served at Christmas, a gluten-free almond cookie made with almond flour; there is also rotolo, a golden sponge cake stuffed with a whipped cream/ricotta mixture. The bakery also offers store-made Italian ice cream called gelatto and expresso. The store also sells bread from the Portage Bakery in Canada.
“I wanted to give people a taste of what I know and what I grew up with,” she said.
Crostatine di Nutella
11/3 cup of flour
3/4 cup of butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup of sugar
a pinch of salt
21/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 jar of Nutella
1 jar sprinkles to decorate (optional)
In a bowl mix the flour, salt, baking powder, egg and butter (cut in small pieces). Mix until you have a soft dough and then form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Put in the fridge for at least an hour. Take the dough and start working with it in small pieces start rolling it out using as much flour as you need so it does not stick.
Using a cupcake pan determine what size circles you need to cut and cut the circles out put them in the cupcake liners and in the pan.
Scoop about a tablespoon of Nutella into the middle of the dough. Add sprinkles if you like. Pinch some of the remaining dough into little round balls, about a half-inch in circumference, to decorate the top of the cookies, also optional.
Bake in preheated oven at 350 for about 12 to 15 minutes. Let them cool for 10 minutes remove from pan.IF YOU GO • WHAT: Calabria Pastries • WHERE: 10065 Niagara Falls Blvd., Niagara Falls • WHEN: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday • MORE INFORMATION: Call 297-7248