Struffoli is a traditional Neapolitan Christmas dessert made from small puffs of citrus-flavored dough that are crunchy on the outside and soft inside. The fried balls are dipped in honey, dusted with multi-colored candy sprinkles, and usually served piled high in a tree-shaped mound or shaped into a wreath.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup honey
Multicolored candy sprinkles
In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.
Add the eggs and zest. Stir until well blended.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes.
Add a little more flour if dough seems sticky.
Shape the dough into a ball, cover with an overturned bowl.
Let rest for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough into 1/2-inch thick ropes then cut into 1/2-inch nuggets.
Heat about 2 inches of oil to 370 degrees F. in a wide saucepan or deep fryer.
Begin adding struffoli in batches into the oil to fit without crowding.
Cook, stirring occasionally with a slotted spoon, until crisp and brown, about 1 minute. Remove the struffoli with the slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain.
When all the struffoli are fried, gently heat the honey just to a simmer in a wide saucepan. Remove the honey from the heat, add the struffoli and coat well.
Pile the struffoli into a mound on a large platter. Dust with the multicolored sprinkles.
Struffoli are best served the day they are made.
Sweet Maria's Italian Cookie Tray presents sixty-five recipes for the delicious, festive cookies that brighten every Italian home, at the holidays and all year-round.
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