One of the many treasures of celebrating Christmas Italian Style, is savoring Struffoli during the festive season. Sticky and at times a little messy but oh so so sweet, Struffoli is an Italian Christmas specialty that shines across tables all over the world during the holiday season. Many Italian grandmothers practically have their own traditional recipes.
Struffoli is believed to have originated from the Greek poet Archestratus. There is evidence of a written recipe lost in historical data of a “dough ball fried in olive oil.” The actual name struffoli comes from the Greek word “strongulos” and means “round in shape.” Namely a Neopolitan delicacy, Struffoli has quite a few apellations. Pignolata, Cicerchiata, and in Honeyballs are other popular monikers. No matter what you call it, Struffoli is sure to add brightness and a little of bit it Italy to your Christmas.
CLASSIC TRADITIONAL STRUFFOLI
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups All-Purpose Flour Unbleached
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup honey
1 Tsp. Olive Oil
1 Tsp. granulated sugar
1 Tsp. of powdered sugar
Oil best for frying
Whisk the eggs, butter, tsp of sugar and olive together until the mixture takes on a foam texture. Add the baking powder and slowly add the flour while whisking. Delve your hands and knead the mixture until it forms a soft dough. Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.
After resting time, place the dough on a wooden board or surface and sprinkle flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Roll the dough into a long strip about a foot long and width about the size of an index finger. Cut the dough into about 1 inch pieces and roll into a small ball the palm of your hands.
Heat up the frying oil in a large pan or deep fryer to 375 degrees F.. Take your rolled dough and fry in the heated oil first. Once they become nice and brown, take a slotted spoon and transfer to another flat surface. Place the honey and ½ cup of sugar and in a large flat pan over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Once the honey and sugar become liquid, take the honey balls and coat them right in the pan.
Once fully coated in honey, take your struffoli and place them in a dish or other decorative container. Add colored sprinkles and powdered sugar for extra sweetness and color. Please be aware they will harden therefore you will want to make sure you will be able to break them apart as seamless as possible. From our table to yours, enjoy this delectable Christmas Tradition for many years to come!