Struffoli or honey balls are a traditional dessert in Naples around Christmas. These treats are served after Christmas dinner but I like to make them anytime of the year. Even though I have never been to Italy, there are many Italians in Brazil and I found this recipe while browsing my first recipe notebook. The dough balls are fried, sizzled with honey and sprinkles and then piled to form a cone or wreath. Serve them after Christmas dinner. Easy and yummy, and you can make them in advance.
Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas!
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon limoncello (rum or brandy)
2 tablespoons butter
Grated zest of one orange (or lime)
1 2/3 cups sifted all purpose flour
Oil for deep frying
1 cup honey
Colored sprinkles and pignole nuts.
1) In a large bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, rum and butter until foamy. Add orange zest and baking powder. Add flour and knead until it forms a soft dough. Let it rest covered for half an hour in the fridge.
2) Divide dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a 1/2 inch thick rope. Using a sharp knife, cut the rope to obtain half-inch balls.
3) Deep-fry the balls, 6 to 8 at a time until they are light golden brown. Turn them regularly. Drain on paper towel.
4) Heat honey in a saucepan and coat struffoli. Pile onto a serving dish and decorate with sprinkles and pignole nuts.