France reigns queen in the world of desserts and sweet treats, but Italy runs a close second – especially around the Christmas holidays. After a family dinner, out come the traditional desserts, such as panettone, pandoro, torrone and the colorfully decorated struffoli. Fun and tasty, struffoli are an easy Italian holiday recipe to make in your home. Traditionally made in the Naples area in southern Italy, they are one the Christmas sweets I look forward to the most in my adopted home on the Amalfi Coast. Buon natale!
Laura, Paris Perfect Contributing Writer
For a large plate of struffoli
1 – 1 ¼ cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
Zest from half a lemon
Dash of limoncello or rum
Oil for frying
Approximately 1 cup honey for topping
Additional ingredients (prepare how you and your family will enjoy!):
Candied orange, lemon or citrus rinds, chopped
Candied covered almonds
Sprinkles and candied cherries
- Mix flour, salt, eggs and limoncello or rum and lemon zest to form a dough. The dough will be stiff, but knead until it forms a smooth round shape. Cover in plastic wrap and let stand for 20 minutes.
- Slice the dough into about ½ inch pieces and roll out by hand into long ropes. Cut each rope into ¼ inch pieces.
- Fry the pieces in hot oil until golden in color, turning frequently to cook evenly. After frying, drain the extra oil from the fried dough balls on paper towels or a rack until cool.
- In large pan, heat the honey until hot and mix the struffoli in the honey until coated.
- Stir in the optional candied fruit and nuts to your taste.
- Pour the honey coated struffoli onto a plate or form into a traditional wreath shape and top with sprinkles and a few candied cherries.