I can't get over how amazing these are! I'm tempted to make a batch as we speak. I know they are a naughty naughty cookies, deep fried and all. Honey soaked Christmas fritters! Yes please! Struffoli is our next lucky cookie. I've had these several times in my life and the Italians know how to create magic. With honey and fried you can't go wrong.
It is made of tiny dough balls that have been deep-fried and soaked in honey.
They are served piled high on plates and serving trays. Some like to form them in the shape of Christmas trees or wreaths. Regardless of which style you form your struffoli, they are always festively covered with multi-colored candy sprinkles and colorful mixed candied fruits.
Struffoli are a traditional Italian holiday treat for those living in Italy as well as for those that live out of the country. People who grew up with this symbol of Christmas seem to go out of their way every year to make sure there is a struffoli on the holiday table.
In Italy, Italian home cooks traditionally make large quantities of these tiny honey balls for friends and family. When one visits relatives during the holidays, a plate of struffoli often is brought along as a gift to spread holiday cheer and in keeping with the theme of Christmas as the season of giving.
Heres a recipe to try below!
Total Time: 1 hr 30 min
3 1/2 cups flour
6 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1 lemon, zested and juiced, plus 1 lemon, zested
1 orange, zested
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon limoncello
4 cups canola or peanut oil, for frying
2 cups honey
Powdered sugar, for dusting
In a mixing bowl, place flour, eggs, yolk, zest of 1 lemon, orange zest, salt, and limoncello and mix well to form a firm dough, 8 to 10 minutes. Place in the refrigerator and allow to rest 30 minutes.
Remove from the refrigerator and cut golf ball-sized pieces of dough from the main batch. Roll each ball into a 1/2-inch thick dowel (rope) and cut each dowel into 1/2-inch pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and continue until finished with all dough.
In a 12 to 14-inch skillet with at least 3-inch sides, heat the oil to 375 degrees F. Drop enough balls in to cover about half of the surface of frying oil and cook until dark golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to turn them regularly, and expect them to puff up while cooking. As they finish, remove them to a tray covered with paper towels, and drain well. This should take at least 5 batches.
When all of the struffoli are cooked, heat the honey, lemon juice, and zest together in a wide 6 to 8 quart saucepan until quite warm, about 150 degrees F, and substantially thinner. Add struffoli to honey and stir carefully until well coated. Remove from heat and allow to cool 5 minutes in the pan, stirring regularly. Pour out into a large serving tray in the form of either a pyramid or a ring mold. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.