Whenever we think of Italian foods, pizzas and pastas come as a first thought in our mind. But traditional Italian cooking is much more than just pizzas and pastas. There are many traditional Italian dishes and one of the easiest and fun-filled Italian dishes is the struffoli. Struffoli are small balls of dough that are deep fried and coated with honey.
These are very popular in Italy and are compulsorily consumed during the Christmas. Struffoli are very popularly prepared by the nuns during Christmas and they gift those to the family of noble people as a thank you gift for all their charities. Struffoli are considered to be very lucky and good as these small balls are sign of abundance.
Difficulty level: Easy
Servings per recipe: 8-10
Preparation time required: 40-50 minutes
Cooking time required:10-15 minutes
1 deep skillet
1 spider strainer
1 large bowl
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of orange zest
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
A pinch of salt
2/3rd cup of pure honey
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon of brandy or rum
1/3rd cup of Italian sprinkles
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
5-6 cups of cooking oil, for frying
Method of Preparation
1. Take a bowl and a sieve and place the sieve over the bowl. Put some of the flour into the sieve and sift the flour into the bowl by gently shaking the sieve. Sift the remaining flour into the bowl and then create a small well at the center of the flour.
Then crack open the eggs and transfer their contents into the well created at the center of the flour. Follow that by adding the salt, sugar, brandy or rum, lemon zest, orange zest, egg yolk and the butter. Mix all the added ingredients with the flour and then try to convert the mixture into soft dough.
2. Once the dough is formed, sprinkle some flour on your working table and knead the dough on that for 2-3 minutes or until it becomes smooth and non-sticky. Once you are done kneading the dough, cover it up with a kitchen towel and let it rest in a cool place for 30 minutes. Once the time elapses, unwrap the dough from the kitchen towel and cut it into 5-6 equal sized smaller pieces. Keep the other dough balls covered with the kitchen towel while working with one of the balls.
3. Take one of the dough balls and roll it between your hands. Once the ball becomes smooth, roll it out into a long rope. Once the rope is formed, cut the rope lengthwise into smaller cubes or pieces. Roll out all the remaining dough balls into ropes and cut them into smaller pieces as well. Once all the dough balls are rolled out and cut into smaller pieces, spread them out on your kitchen towel by maintaining some distance in between each piece. Now take a deep skillet and fill it up with oil. Place the skillet on the stove and light up the flame.
4. Set the flame on medium and let the oil heat up. The oil should become piping hot but it should neither steam nor boil. Put some of the struffoli pieces on a plate and then tip them slowly into the skillet of hot oil. Avoid overcrowding the skillet while frying the struffoli. Once the struffoli pieces turn into a golden brown color, strain them out of the oil with a spider strainer and then place them on a plate lined with paper towels.
5. Now take a pot and place it on the stove. Turn the knob to light up the flame and then set it on low. Pour the honey into the pot and warm it up until it becomes thinner. Once the honey becomes thin, put the deep fried struffoli balls into the pot and stir to coat them with the honey. Then sprinkle half of the Italian sprinkles on top of the struffoli balls and stir to stick them together. Once done, arrange the struffoli balls on a plate like a mountain and then sprinkle the rest of the sprinkles on top before serving.
1. It is very important to get the right texture of the dough for the struffoli. Your dough should neither be too soggy nor too dense. You can use some milk or water if your dough becomes too tight or dense.
2. You can store struffoli in air-tight containers for many days. Just fry them and store them before coating them with honey. And once you are ready to use them, just microwave them for a few minutes and then coat them with honey.