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Old 11-29-2006, 08:54 PM   #1
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Strufoli (italian honey balls..)

Even if you heritage is not Italian, most people have seen these little balls in bakeries around Christmas time. They are the size of marbles, golden, dripping with honey, and coloured non-pariels. When my grandmother made them for the holidays, they were like lead fishing weights. I altered her recipe a bit and added baking powder and found they are much lighter. I also let the dough rest a while after rolling the dough into balls. Seems to help the glutens relax.

They really are very easy to make. It just amounts to making dough, shaping that dough into little balls, frying them, and then dropping them into warm honey. Piece of cake!

Anyway, these have a been a holiday favourite of mine since I was old enough to steal more than my share from a platter. They are positively the best when you can enjoy them still warm. They'll keep nicely for a couple of days if you wrap them very very well. They don't seem to mind a few seconds in the microwave, either, to return them to a warm state.

Strufoli

2 1/2 c flour
4 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/4 c shortening
1/2T sugar
1T baking powder
dash salt
1/2 t. lemon zest
2 C vegetable oil for frying
1 1/2 C honey
1t orange zest
coloured non-pariels

Method
Place flour on board, making a well in the center. Place eggs, egg yolk, shortening, sugar, salt and lemon peel into the well. Mix well, working the dough with your hands. Shape into very small balls, the size of marbles. Let the dough balls rest about 15-20 minutes, covered with damp paper towels, while you heat the oil in a deep stock pot. Drop the balls, a few at a time into the hot oil (350 degrees) until golden brown. They'll float, just turn them around a bit for even browning.

Melt honey in a saucepan and add orange zest. As soon as the balls are fried, take them from the oil directly to the honey pot. Let them float around in there for about 30 seconds. Lift them out of the honey with a slotted spoon, placing them on a serving platter, piling them into a conical shape. Sprinkle with non-pariels while the honey is still warm.

We always have this with espresso with annisette.

Enjoy

ps---My grandmother's recipe is from the early 1920s...before food processors and kitchen fryers. Feel free to use either piece of equipment if you have them. I do.

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Old 11-29-2006, 10:47 PM   #2
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Thumbs up

Vera, thank you for sharing one of your family's holiday traditions with all of us at DC.
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Old 11-30-2006, 12:27 AM   #3
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vb, it's not christmas without strufoli.

grazie for the recipe.

do you do the festa dei sette pesce? (i'm looking for an italian family to adopt me this christmas. no one does christmas better)
if so, how many seperate dishes do you make? lol, it's fun to see how many of the seven you can do in one dish.
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Old 11-30-2006, 02:22 AM   #4
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Vera, thank you for sharing your grandma's recipe with us. It looks great. We have a similar recipe here called Loukoumades (Honey Puffs) using yeast, flour, water and salt. After deep frying the puffs, we drizzle honey, cinnamon and chopped walnuts over them. They are usually served during the cold winter months. The problem with these puffs is that they have to be eaten immediately when hot and crispy.
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Old 11-30-2006, 06:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom
vb, it's not christmas without strufoli.

grazie for the recipe.

do you do the festa dei sette pesce? (i'm looking for an italian family to adopt me this christmas. no one does christmas better)
if so, how many seperate dishes do you make? lol, it's fun to see how many of the seven you can do in one dish.
What kind of Italian do you take me for?? Of course I do 'the feast of the seven fishes'! I can easily get 5 or 6 seperate dishes. We start at 5pm. You're close....I saw your picture so I know who to expect.!
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