Have you ever had this delicious Italian sweet bread? I've come to think of it as the bastard child of German Stollen and Irish soda bread. But, perhaps I project. My experience with panettone is pretty limited but over the years I've seen it around, generally at Christmas. Last weekend when we were at Rocco's picking up black & white cookies, I saw some beautiful, glossy loaves and decided it was just what I wanted for Easter morning. I know it is an nontraditional choice, particularly when they had those loaves of bread topped with pretty colored eggs, but the panettone looked too good to leave behind. Easter morning I enjoyed a slice of this dense, moist cake, I mean, bread, liberally smeared with unsalted butter. Talk about having a lot going on! There were dried and candied fruits, pine nuts, and a beautiful anise flavor all nestled into a flakier-than-it-looks bread. Eating this bread is like tasting history - it is clearly a treat that has been enjoyed for many generations. Mario Batali has a simple recipe if you want to give it a shot yourself, although, if I were making it myself I'd be sure to include some toasted pine nuts. I think I'd also add some Sambuca to the water I soak my dried fruit in to get some liquorice flavor in there. Of course, pouring yourself a pony of Sambuca on the side is also an option.