Struffoli for Christmas

Struffoli with Sprinkles



4 cups flour, sifted                                                                        
4 oz butter, softened                                                                   
3 whole eggs + 1 yolk, beaten                                                    
¼ cup sugar
1 oz liqueur (anise, rum, brandy, or Limoncello)

grated zest 1 orange and ½ lemon
Pinch salt
Pinch baking soda
1 oz milk
1 1/2 cups honey
1/2 cup decorations/sprinkles

For the dough:
In a bowl add and mix the flour, salt and baking soda. Make a little well in the center of the bowl.  Add remaining ingredients in the center.  Incorporate and mix batter until it is homogenized.  Knead about 5 minute until  the dough is smooth (if the dough is too tough, add a little milk, if it is too soft add a little more flour). Cover with towel or a bowl and allow to rest at least 30 minutes at room temp.

Mounded Struffoli

Once rested, divide into smaller pieces, and roll  each piece into thin long logs (thin snakes). Cut each thin  log into tiny ¼ inch pieces about the size of chick peas.  Set on a clean towel.
Prepare a medium size pan half filled with either vegetable, canola, or sunflower oil.  When hot, add a batch of struffoli at a time and cook.  Stir often and remove when the struffoli  are golden (not brown). Lay on paper towel to drain the excess oil. Continue the process until all the struffoli have been cooked.

 To make syrup:
Heat the honey  in a medium size pan for about 3 minutes.  Turn off heat and add the ready struffoli.  Mix gently and uniformly.  Transfer the struffoli to a dish and shape like a small mountain or a wreath.  Decorate with sprinkles. Allow to rest about an hour before serving. 

Struffoli Christmas Wreath

Alba on WUSA9 cooking segment December 18, 2012
Struffoli is a traditional Napolitan Christmas somewhat sweet dough that is fried first and then dipped with warm honey.  It can decorated with sprinkles, candied fruit and even silver and white almonds.

In Naples Struffoli were prepared by nuns in convents and given to noble families to thank them for their act of charity.

Enjoy making these delicious sweet morsels of sweet dough for your family like our grandmothers used to and make your own Christmas tradition.

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