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Struffoli (small traditional fritters)

  • 35 minutes
  • Easy
  • Desserts and Fruit
Struffoli, small fried dough balls covered with honey, are the quintessential Christmas dessert in Naples.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ lb all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ oz butter
  • 1 ¾ oz granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch baking soda
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon anise liqueur
  • 1 lb honey
  • 1 oz colored sprinkles
  • 2 oz candied orange peel

Preparazione:


Struffoli are usually prepared using the same ingredients, but every family has its own guarded secrets for this recipe.

Here is our chefs’ choice.

Begin by preparing the dough.
Form a well in the flour, and to the center, add the soft butter, sugar, milk, a pinch of salt, baking soda, eggs and anise liqueur.

Using your hands or a fork, start mixing the ingredients together, slowly incorporating the flour until you have a smooth, uniform dough. If needed, add additional flour or milk so that the dough is not too soft or too dense.

Once you have a smooth dough of the right consistency, continue kneading for 5 or 6 minutes. When done, cover the dough with a bowl and let rest for at least 15 minutes.

Once the time has past, begin preparing the struffoli.

Cut off a piece of dough and roll it out until it is about ½ inch thick in diameter. Cut the roll into small, ½ inch, cylindrical pieces. Repeat using the rest of the dough.

Then fry the struffoli, a few at a time, in a pan of hot oil. Once golden, after 5 to 10 seconds, remove from the pan using a slotted spoon. After frying, place the struffoli on a plate lined with paper towels. Finish frying all of the dough.

Prepare the icing by cooking the honey in a large pot. Once the honey begins to boil, add candied orange peel and mix with a spoon.

Let cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until the honey is foamy. Then remove the pot from the heat and add the struffoli. Stir them carefully, trying not to damage them, then transfer them to a plate. Immediately cover with the colored sprinkles.

Let cool and serve at room temperature.

Chef's tips

In order to maintain the right consistency of the dough, do not add more flour when rolling it.

Food History

The name Struffoli is generally believed to come from the Greek word strongulos meaning “round in shape.”
According to tradition, struffoli are considered good luck because the small balls are a symbol of abundance.
For centuries these sweets were prepared in convents by nuns and then distributed to noble families at Christmas, as thanks for their acts of charity and donations.

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