The New Year's Batch
Every Christmas our family makes Italian Strufoli. For those unfamiliar with strufoli, they are delicious little morsels of fried dough smothered in honey and topped with festive nonpareils. Strufoli is a Neapolitan specialty, but can vary from family to family. Some are stacked like a tree and harden to a brittle-like consistency. My grandmother long ago tweaked this recipe to be a soft dough, lightly fried and honey coated. Many eat them by the morsel, I eat them by the bowl full.
Although we quadruple this recipe for our Christmas Eve dessert, it never seems to be enough. Traditionally, my Mom and I make the large Christmas batch together. Her not-so-subtle coaching to fry them "biondi biondi" ( trans: blonde!) is my mantra for soloing on the New's Year's batch. They are freshly fried, honey and candy coated and ready for 2017!
3 eggs, room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Vegetable Oil for frying
1 cup honey
1 tablespoon sugar
- Mix eggs and butter and vanilla. Add baking powder, salt and 1 cup of flour. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead in any additional flour to make a soft, not sticky dough.
- Roll pieces of dough into pencil size pieces. Cut into 1/4-inch pieces.
- Preheat oil to 350 F. Fry a handful at a time, stirring constantly being sure to fry them very light golden ( "biondi"). Drain strufoli in a strainer. Fry all pieces.
- Cool completely. ( Can be made 3 to 4 days in advance. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.)
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine honey and sugar. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves and mixture is just about boiling.
- Pour over fried strufoli and stir to coat. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with nonpareils.
Makes about 6 cups ( twelve 1/2-cup servings)
This recipe is easily doubled for more! and also makes Bow Ties.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough very thin. Using a pastry cutter, cut the dough into strips about 2" x 4 ". Cut a slit in the center, and twist dough through to make a bow. ( or twist as desired).
- Fry bows until light. Cool completely and dust with confectioners sugar.
For these and other traditional Italian cookie recipes, take a look at our cookbooks!