Struffoli recipe: tiny dough balls, fried and dipped in honey, lastly, sprinkled with colorful (or golden) confetti.
An Italian Christmas table, at the end of the night (or lunch), is full of Pandoro, Panettone, Limoncello, Amari and other sweet treats… So there’s no need to prepare a dessert too. But everyone will certainly have one tiny sticky honey ball, maybe two, maybe four, maybe a few more while playing cards lately in the day… We are talking of struffoli napoletani: small and fried dough balls, dipped in honey, and sprinkled with colorful confetti.
The traditional Neapolitan struffoli recipe is present in every Christmas kitchen of the peninsula (well… to be honest, most of the time we buy them :-)).
Place flour on a working surface (or food processor bowl). Form a hole in the middle and pour in egg, butter, sugar, lemon zest, limoncello and 1 pinch of salt.
Work the dough until it comes together and you can form a ball.
Cover the dough and let it rest in a warm spot of the house for at least 30 minutes.
Take back the dough and work it to get 3 cm/1 inch large cylinders. Cut them in 2.5 cm/1 inch pieces and display them over a floured surface. For a better result, you may work each piece between your palms to get a spherical, more regular form (not mandatory).
Heat the oil in a medium tall pot.
Shake the struffoli to get rid of excess flour, using a coriander or fine thieve, and dip them in the hot oil. When they get golden brown, use a skimmer to transfer them to a plate with blotting paper.
Immediately after frying, melt honey in a large pot. Throw in the struffoli and mix delicately. As soon as they are well covered with honey, and the temperature has decreased a bit, add confetti, mix well and pour the whole thing on a serving plate.
Bring to room temperature and serve.
- You can make struffoli 1-2 days before Christmas.
- Struffoli will last 5 days-1 week, stored at room temperature and covered with a plastic film (yes it will stick a little :-)).
- Do not store struffoli in the refrigerator, only the dough, before frying them, for one day.
Struffoli are a hand eating dessert. People can pick one tiny sweet ball at the time from the pyramid (or other figure formed). Or they can complicatedly use tongs…
enjoy a sweet Italian Christmas!