Pasta + Pastry = Perfection!

Co-owner Rose Croce keeps Viro’s restaurant well stocked with sweet treats.
Photography by Thomas Veneklasen

Vito and Rose Croce are the husband-and-wife owners of Viro’s Restaurant (the restaurant’s name is a composite of the first two letters of their first names). They met as children in Sicily. Years later they reunited in the states, married and finally traveled from the Midwest to make Tucson their home.
Viro’s Restaurant has been a local favorite for more than three decades. Their emphasis is homemade Italian dishes using authentic family recipes. Rose’s specialty is her pastries. She is most at home in the restaurant’s kitchen whipping up tasty treats on a daily basis. Rose shares her Aunt Filippina’s cookie recipe with us.


Black and White Cookies
1¾ cup granulated sugar
8 oz. unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. lemon extract
5 cups pastry flour
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder

Blend together butter and sugar. Add all the liquid ingredients then add the dry ingredients. Blend but do not over-mix.
Use a small scoop (¼ cup of dough) and place on parchment paper, spacing them six inches apart on a sheet pan (rinse scoop in water between servings to prevent sticking).
Bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes.
Serves: 12 large cookies.

Melt chocolate over hot water and cover half of the cookie using a pastry brush. Repeat with melted white chocolate on the remaining half.