Struffoli, or commonly known as honey balls are an Italian dessert traditionally made for Christmas Eve and personally one of my favorites. I look forward to them every year. Growing up I could remember my mother and my aunts coming together to make them. Us kids would watch Christmas movies and sample all the cookies to make sure they were Christmas ready. We would also get our annual Christmas package of treats from my Aunt Ruthie in Tennessee. She is famous for sending the entire family gifts, her delicious Italian cookies, and NEVER ever forgets to send us Struffoli... all the way from Tennessee! She is just adorable like that.
My Aunt Ruthie is a twin to my Aunt Martha whom I am very close with. Every time Aunt Ruthie gets on the phone she is always apologizing to me how sorry she is that we aren't as close and wishes we knew each other better through out the years. BUT, Aunt Ruthie if you're reading this, you are still very special to me and I treasure what ever moments we have been blessed to share together. Struffoli will forever be a fond memory for me and I will think of you every year I make them.
I think every woman in my family has their own recipe for Struffoli but thanks to Aunt Ruthie, I now know the family secret! When I called for the recipe she gave no real direction - just the ingredients, which included "ahh you know... a little bit of this, and a little bit of that" which frightened me, a baking recipe without measurements?!! Sounds like a recipe for disaster! But that is exactly how the Farruggio women in my family cook, my mother is the Queen of that, too! Nonetheless, it took a little bit of prying Aunt Ruthie, plus a little bit of my baking instincts that I finally got a solid recipe down and it seems to be the best one yet. This is my new favorite tradition to carry out for my family and I promise you they are not complaining! I hope I did my Aunt Ruthie proud!
Although, Christmas is over I figured what a great way to keep the Struffoli season going by making them again for New Years Eve! Especially if you display them in champagne glasses! I got this idea last year and think it is just super cute and the PERFECT way to cheers to the New Year!
1. In a large bowl whisk together your flour and baking powder (set aside)
2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment - add your sugar, eggs and oil and mix together until all ingredients are incorporated
3. Slowly add your dry ingredients one cup at a time on low speed
4. Once a dough starts to form, remove to a dry surface dusted with a little bit of flour
5, Knead the dough until it is no longer sticky. Take a handful of dough and start rolling it out on your surface into a long worm-like shape
6. Once you have your long piece of dough, using a scissor cut the dough into small cubes (do not worry that your pieces aren't round, once you fry them they form round balls)
7. Take small cube pieces to your fryer and fry them until they are golden brown, round and have floated to the top
Now for the fun part!
8. Once all of your struffoli has been fried - your going to simmer some honey (about a cup and about 1/4 cup sugar in a medium sized sauce pan.
9. Take handfuls of struffoli and dump them in your honey mixture
10. Toss Struffoli around the honey mixture until all evenly coated. I don't know if this is apart of the recipe but I left mine in the honey for some time to really coat them nicely while tossing them around a few times. If you need to add more honey go for it, no measuring here!
11. Spoon out your coated Struffoli into a dish or bowl of your choice (mine were plastic champagne glasses) and sprinkle with some colorful non pareil sprinkles and ENJOY!
Cheers everyone and I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year to come! xx
sugar with style
Fashion merchandiser gone baker gone home renovator gone DIY obsessor gone MAD! Follow my journey, order some treats and get INSPIRED, xo!