Struffoli for Christmas

Struffoli for Christmas

Struffoli are a Southern Italian favorite

Struffoli, puffy little balls of fried dough drenched in honey, are the quintessential Christmas sweet in Naples and other places in Italy, especially the Central and Southern regions.  When I was a little girl in Brooklyn, other kids would be helping their mothers to make gingerbread and spritz cookies, but in our house, it was always struffoli.  Mom would start with a 5-pound bag of flour and a couple of dozen eggs.  She would mix and knead the ingredients together until a smooth dough formed.  Then the dough was left to rest under a clean kitchen towel and she would fill a big pot with oil.  Then we would start slicing, rolling and cutting the dough until little bits.

Rolling out struffoli

Rolling out struffoli

Once the oil was hot enough, she would carefully slip the pieces of dough into the hot oil, making sure all the while that we kids stayed far away from the hot pot.  But I loved to watch as the struffoli turned from little pillow shaped pellets into crisp, brown puffs.  When she judged them sufficiently browned, she would scoop out the puffs and drain them on paper towels.  They were eggy and toasty tasting, but they really wouldn’t be at their best until they were thoroughly drenched in good honey.  My mom didn’t think much of the supermarket brands, preferring instead to drive to a private home on Staten Island where the owner kept bees and gathered several different types of honey.  My mom would ask for a blend of the light and dark honeys for a perfectly mellow flavor.

Frying Struffoli

Frying Struffoli

After tossing the struffoli with the warm honey came the fun part — piling the sticky balls into heaps on platters and disposable pie plates to be given as gifts to friends and family. But before they could be given away, the struffoli needed to be decorated.  We used little multicolored confetti and by the time we kids were done with the task, there were sticky finger marks and confetti all over the kitchen table and floor.  Sometimes we added candied red and green cherries, or sliced almonds, or strips of candied orange and citron.  Of course, we couldn’t resist tasting them to make sure they were as good as last year’s.

The big platter would go on the sideboard where we could pick off a few whenever we passed by throughout the holiday season.  The pie plates were wrapped in cellophane and tied with ribbons to bring to friends and family.  Of course, they would give us plates of their own struffoli, but in my house, we all knew that mom’s were superior.  They were crisp and light and never dense and hard like others we had tasted.

A lot of Italian Americans have forgotten, or maybe they never knew, how to make struffoli, so I put them on the holiday entertaining menu I prepared at the cooking class I did at De Gustibus Cooking School at Macy’s on Thursday.  Sure enough, while I was getting ready for the class, I heard one of the assistants enter and exclaim, “Struffoli!  Hurray, we’re making struffoli!”  I felt just like a kid again, making struffoli with my mom.

Here’s my recipe for struffoli which I published in my book 1,000 Italian Recipes.  It makes a plateful, enough for 8 to 10.  If you want to make a big batch to give away, the recipe can easily be doubled.

STRUFFOLI

Makes 8 servings

1 cup all-purpose flour plus more for kneading the dough

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest

Vegetable oil for frying

1 cup honey (about 6 ounces)

Possible garnishes: multicolored sprinkles, chopped candied orange peel, citron or  cherries, toasted sliced almonds

1. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour and the salt. Add the eggs and lemon zest and stir until well blended.

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Add a little more flour if the dough seems sticky. Shape the dough into a ball. Cover the dough with an overturned bowl. Let the dough rest 30 minutes.

3. Cut the dough into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Roll one slice between your palms into a 1/2-inch-thick rope. Cut the rope into 1/2-inch nuggets. If the dough feels sticky, use a tiny bit of flour to dust the board or your hands. (Excess flour will cause the oil to foam up when you fry the struffoli.)

4. Line a tray with paper towels. Pour about 2 inches of oil into a wide heavy saucepan. Heat the oil to 370°F on a frying thermometer, or until a small bit of the dough dropped into the oil sizzles and turns brown in 1 minute.

5. Being careful not to splash the oil, slip just enough struffoli into the pan to fit without crowding. Cook, stirring once or twice with a slotted spoon, until the struffoli are crisp and evenly golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the struffoli with a slotted spoon or skimmer and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining dough.

6. When all of the struffoli are fried, gently heat the honey just to a simmer in a large shallow saucepan. Remove from the heat. Add the drained struffoli and toss well. Pile the struffoli onto a serving plate. Decorate with the multicolored sprinkles, candied fruits, or nuts.

7. To serve, break off a portion of the struffoli with two large spoons or a salad server.   Store covered with an overturned bowl at room temperature up to 3 days.

Copyright 2004 1,000 ITALIAN RECIPES by Michele Scicolone

If you have any questions or comments about this recipe, or others, I would love to hear from you at mailto:michelescicolone@gmail.com.

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76 comments

1 Carmine Russo { 12.19.10 at 9:53 AM }

Hi
I have a problem with the honey.
After boiling the honey and placing the struffoli in the pot,
the honey is very very hard and it is difficult to seperate to eat.
Then honey is too hard.

How can i solve the problem.
Thanks
Carmine

2 Michele Scicolone { 12.20.10 at 7:35 AM }

Dear Carmine,
Sounds like the honey may have overcooked. It really just needs to be heated until it comes to a simmer (not a boil) and liquefies. I’d suggest you let the struffoli warm up a little before serving them, maybe near the stove, or in a warm turned off oven. This should soften the honey a little and make them easier to separate. Also, the honey will be absorbed into the struffoli as they set for a few days and that should help too.
But you know, struffoli are always sticky and messy to eat, which is part of the fun.
Buon Natale!
Michele

3 Samie { 01.08.11 at 12:11 PM }

i made the strufolli alittle bigger and it took longer to cook in the inside well then the outside was too brown .still yummy but not pretty. so what did I do wrong . I think I put cinnamon in the dough and cocoa powder once .I did not butn them because I would of tasted the burnt flavor. my question is should I ever use cinnamon or cocoa in the recipe because they came out looking like puppy chow .They were still delicious. But I didnt have a name and my neighbor thought I was not following the recipe while I was just adding different things at different times .once I added orange zest into the honey but first I fryed it and then rolled the honey balls into the orange zest again they were dark but delicious.

4 Michele Scicolone { 01.13.11 at 11:50 AM }

Hi, Samie, I think you pretty much answered all your questions! They took longer to cook because they were bigger, so they get browner. They were browner to begin with since you added 2 brown ingredients to the dough.
All the best in 2011! Michele

5 writegirl { 07.06.11 at 2:54 PM }

It’s the same as Taiglach! Fried balls dipped in honey with nuts and candied fruits, a traditional Jewish treat for the New Year and for Passover. Yes, Italians and Jews share so much!

6 carol { 11.04.11 at 4:54 PM }

i have a problem with the honey it does not stick to honey balls. the honey goes to the bottom of the tin. what did i do wrong.

7 carol { 11.04.11 at 4:56 PM }

i have a problem with the honey on the honey balls . the honey goes to the bottom of the tin. what can i do to make the honey stick to the honey balls.

8 Michele Scicolone { 11.15.11 at 12:37 PM }

Hi, Carol, Make sure you start with a good quality honey, one that is nice and thick. Heat it in a wide saucepan but do not let it boil. Add the struffoli and stir them gently until the honey cools off. It should thicken and coat the balls as it cools. Then transfer the struffoli to a serving plate. Some of the honey will settle to the bottom, but most of it should stick. Store the struffoli at room temperature.
Happy Holidays!

9 marina { 11.20.11 at 11:34 AM }

Finally a no-nonsense recipe, other ones I have looked at have so much useless ingredients in them, I as well have a basic recipe, I do add lemon juice instead of lemon zest, and always a little of vanilla,
and if dough is kinda dry, just a pinch of milk or water. Thanks for sharing. Marina

10 Michele Scicolone { 11.21.11 at 2:27 PM }

Glad to share, Marina. Have a wonderful holiday!

11 Frank Napoli { 12.07.11 at 9:19 PM }

Great article Michele! I grew up on struffoli and have continued making them since I was in my 20’s. We also shaped them as a wreath in a dish for the Christmas season! Good tip about the honey and letting it cool.
Thanks!

12 Michele Scicolone { 12.08.11 at 6:09 AM }

They do look nice in a wreath shape, Frank. You are welcome and Buon natale!

13 John DiMuccio { 12.11.11 at 6:38 AM }

Michele, love the recipe! I’m planning to make these for Christmas eve. Is there anything I can do hours or even days before to prepare? Can the dough be made and frozen? Or if I make them the day before, will they still be tasty/as good the following night if I warm them? I have a big meal planned, and I don’t think I’ll be able to be rolling dough amidst the big meal. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Grazie!

14 Michele Scicolone { 12.11.11 at 7:57 AM }

Hi, John, Thanks! You can certainly make these a couple of days in advance. As they sit (at room temperature) they soften slightly. The texture will be different from when they are freshly made and still really crunchy, but they will still be delicious and good to eat.
Don’t put the sprinkles on top until you are ready to serve them since they sometimes melt from the moisture in the honey. I have never tried freezing the dough. After they are made keep the struffoli at room temperature or the honey will get too hard to serve. I just keep them in a cool spot covered with a big bowl since plastic wrap would stick to the surface.
Buon Natale! Michele

15 John DiMuccio { 12.11.11 at 12:49 PM }

Michele, grazie mille! I’ll try making them the evening before or maybe even morning of Christmas Eve if I can. Love the blog, btw! Buon Natale! -John

16 jackie oliver { 12.11.11 at 1:10 PM }

michele, i was just thinking of these today and found your recipe. i am going to attempt them this week. vegetable oil…would olive oil be ok?

17 Michele Scicolone { 12.11.11 at 3:24 PM }

Sure, olive oil would be fine. Enjoy them Jackie!

18 Michele Scicolone { 12.11.11 at 3:26 PM }

Thanks, John!

19 Hugo { 12.11.11 at 6:56 PM }

Just made them and they came out great. Thanks for an easy and simple recipe.

20 Michele Scicolone { 12.11.11 at 7:48 PM }

My pleasure, Hugo. So glad you like them.
Merry Christmas!

21 Michele Napolitano Clemente { 12.12.11 at 12:07 PM }

To Michele, from Michele! :-) My grandmother would never tell us how to make the dough! She always made it in advance, and then we’d help her roll and cut and fry. “How big to cut, Grandma?” “As fat as your finger.” She’s been gone a few years, now, and I’ll be glad to make this in her honor this Christmas!

22 Michele Scicolone { 12.12.11 at 2:25 PM }

Hi, Michele, That’s so funny! Grandmas liked to keep their recipes secret. But I was lucky and watched my mom make these every year. It’s really a simple dough. I hope you enjoy them and have a wonderful Christmas! Michele

23 Mario { 12.16.11 at 9:25 PM }

After sitting over night the honey all settled to the bottom of the tin , can I recoat them? and how ?

24 Tiffany { 12.17.11 at 10:31 AM }

My great grandmother died before I could ever get her recipe and I really wanted to restart this tradition for my kids this year. I enjoyed growing up with these! Thanks for the recipe, can’t wait to try it.

25 Michele Scicolone { 12.17.11 at 10:50 AM }

Ciao, Mario, This seems to be the big question. I recommend that next time you make them, you turn the struffoli in the honey until it has cooled. It will thicken and stick better. But there will always be some settling. Try to find a thick and viscous honey next time. I think some brands have been “watered down” and aren’t as effective as others. Since yours are in a tin, why not put the cover on and turn it upside down. This will recoat the struffoli. Your can turn it right side up shortly before serving. Open carefully, you don’t want the honey to spill out. Also be sure to store them in a cool spot. Buon Natale!

26 Michele Scicolone { 12.17.11 at 10:51 AM }

I hope you enjoy them Tiffany! this is an old recipe and it should be similar to your grandmother’s.

27 Debbie { 12.17.11 at 8:39 PM }

Thanks for the recipe and the memories. I am going to try these this week. I have memories much like yours – growing up in Brooklyn as well. I can remember there would be a tray at everyone’s house we visited and yes, my grandmother’s were the best too. She passed 3 yrs ago a few days before Christmas. I miss her and the honey balls. I tried a different recipe last year and they weren’t the same. Hopefully, this one is… I wish I could have gotten her recipes written down .

28 Michele Scicolone { 12.18.11 at 6:52 AM }

Hi, Debbie, Aren’t we fortunate to have such great memories! One of the best ways to remember the people we loved is to make again the foods we once enjoyed together. I hope this recipe is like your grandmother’s. Wouldn’t she be pleased to know that you are thinking of her? Best wishes for a very happy Christmas!
Michele

29 Rob Trager { 12.19.11 at 3:09 PM }

They way i make struffoli is from an old italian recipe which has been past down. Use about a teaspoon and another quarter teaspoon of baking powder..add that to the flower and mix well together..in another bowl add the eggs, A FULL STICK OF BUTTER and a TEASPOON OF VANILLA EXTRACT AS WELL AS 3/4’s of a cup of SUGAR..blend that all together well then add the flour mix ..it gives it extra flavor when cooked..no need for salt..and i agree with a comment above..only heat the honey slightly and do not let get to a boil

30 Rob Trager { 12.19.11 at 3:12 PM }

So in one bowl 4 cups of flower, 1 and a quarter teaspoons of baking powder..mix together..im a separate bowl blend together an entire stick of butter, teaspoon of vanilla extract, 2 eggs and 3/4 cup of sugar..blend that all well and in a mixer if you have one (this works best) add a half of cup of flower at a time and it will form the dough well..then follow any of the directions about rolling them into about 1/4 in strips and then cut them up..what i do different is then i actually take each piece i cut up and roll them into balls as i believe they fry better and family has done this for generations..they then go into a fryer and are lightly browned..try that recipe with the butter and sugar and vanilla extract and you are guaranteed to be satisfied

31 Susan Carr { 12.19.11 at 9:26 PM }

Hi Michele.

My mom was famous for her struffoli and I haven’t had them since she passed. Her recipe has been lost, so I tried yours and they came out wonderful. I did add orange juice to the honey because I remember Mom doing that to hers. Thanks for sharing the recipe and have a Merry Christmas.

—>Susan

P.S. Mom also made fried cookies called “Bow Ties” that were rolled dough cut into rectangles with a slit in the middle and then twisted inside out. Do you happen to know of these cookies and if so, do you have a recipe for them?

32 Michelle { 12.20.11 at 9:34 AM }

My Nanny made them for years for us, no one can find her recipe, i am sure she used anisette, but everyone says no way? have you ever made with anisette?

33 Michele Scicolone { 12.20.11 at 2:10 PM }

Hi, Susan, I’m so glad you liked my struffoli recipe! I included a Bow Tie recipe like your Mom’s in my book 1,000 Italian Recipes. I will put it on my website when I have the time. Buon Natale! Michele

34 Michele Scicolone { 12.20.11 at 2:12 PM }

Thanks so much for sharing your recipe, Rob. It sounds great and I will have to give it a try. I have enjoyed hearing from so many readers about their families’ special ways of making struffoli!
Wishing you a very Merry Christma!

35 Randy Lynn { 12.20.11 at 2:52 PM }

Help. I made the struffoli this year from a family that my husbands grandmother used for years. It is from . the Art of Italian Cooking by maria Lo pinto and milo Miloradovich Published in 1948. 2 eggs-4eggs as needed 2 cups-3 cups flour as needed 2 cups peanut oil 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 cup honey 1/2 cup sugar Colored Candied Confetti and pjne nuts if you like them. I did something wrong. This is an old receipe, now I tryed to make it in my mixer. I do not know what happened, but the balls fell apart in the Olive Oil. A couple of years ago My mother in law change the oil from veg to olive oil so that it would be easier to use, she didn’t buy peanut oil. Whe I put in th honey it all fell apart and the balls tasted dry. What am i doing wrong? I can not use citris, my neice is allergic. i can not use any liquor or wine, my son just had a Liver Transplant. My husband went to the nearest bakery and bought me some. he was trying to be supportive, since i was in the kitchen all day cooking Pignolata-Strufoli. I just ate on of the bakery strufoli and I HATE IT. I will return it tomorrow. Why would it taste like a chemical? I need your help. How can I make Strufoli that my husbands family and mine have eaten every christmas for over 30 yrs. I really need you HELP!!!
merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year to you and yo9u family.
Sincerely ,Randy

36 Michele Scicolone { 12.20.11 at 5:14 PM }

Hi Randy, Since they fell apart when you fried them, could it be that there were not enough eggs to hold the dough together? You say 2 to 4 eggs for 2 to 3 cups flour — that is a wide range. Using the mixer should not be a problem, and the switch from vegetable to olive oil is fine, too. I have never made that recipe, so I can’t tell you exactly what went wrong. Is there anyone that has made the recipe before that you can ask? If you want to try it again, be very careful when you mix the dough that it comes together smoothly without being dry or crumbly. Don’t give up!
As to the bakery version tasting so bad, unfortunately, that is often the case with store bought cakes and pastries. They use a lot of stabilizers, flavorings, artificial ingredients and preservatives.
Good luck with your struffoli and I wish you a wonderful holiday!
Michele

37 Marianne { 10.20.12 at 12:42 PM }

My grandmother always made struffoli for Christmas however when I make it the color of the honey is always very light and Grandmas was always a deep honey color-Can you advise me ? Thank you!

38 Michele Scicolone { 10.22.12 at 11:52 AM }

Hi, Marianne,
The darker color could have been the result of frying the struffoli a little bit longer. They will darken as they continue to cook. Another possibility is that your Grandma could have used a darker variety of honey. Buckwheat honey is quite dark for example. You wont find that kind of honey in the supermarket though. You may have to get it from a beekeeper or at a farmer’s market. I know the Greenmarkets here in New York sell it. Hope this helps, Michele

39 Gloria Maio Little { 11.16.12 at 11:45 AM }

When I was growing up my family used to make something like this. My grandmother was from Naples while my grandfather came here from Calabria. We used wine instead of the orange or vanilla. We broke them into small pieces and roll them on a washboard using three fingers of our hand, no index or thumb. My uncle used to call them Torditis (which, now that I’m an adult, probably meant little turds. We didn’t dip them in honey but in Karo Syrup. We also had a braided cookie that he called Skiliti that we put whiskey in, braided small, and fried and then dipped them in honey. My mother’s family was not Italian so I never knew who to ask. I’d actually like a reply from you if you can help me out with names and such. Thanks. Gloria

40 Michele Scicolone { 11.18.12 at 6:57 PM }

Hi, Gloria,
I am familiar with the wine struffoli, but the name I have heard for them is vecchiarelle, little old ladies. Here is an article I wrote about them and a recipe http://michelescicolone.com/struffoli-ladies/.
Originally, these little fritters and others like them were probably dipped in cooked wine must, fig syrup, or honey, depending on what the cook could find, so I guess that explains the Karo. I have never heard of torditi or skiliti, but names aren’t that important in traditional Italian recipes as they often changed from family to family or from one region to another. Hope this helps. Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Michele

41 Tt { 11.25.12 at 7:46 PM }

Can I add karo syrup to my honey balls so the honey can stick better

42 Michele Scicolone { 11.26.12 at 5:10 AM }

I have never tried that. But I am sure that is not traditional.
Regards, Michele

43 Kathy { 12.02.12 at 7:08 PM }

Hi Michele
I recall my grandma’s recipe almost exactly like yours except I remember her making a well of flour on the table and adding about a dozen eggs and also when she heated the honey she always added sugar until all were melted.. I want to make about trays what measurements would I follow? thanks for your time

44 Kathy { 12.02.12 at 7:10 PM }

sorry I left out I want to make about 8 trays.

45 Michele Scicolone { 12.03.12 at 6:52 AM }

Hi, Kathy, What a great memory of your grandma! I am sure that is the way all of our grandmas made their struffoli in the days before heavy duty mixers. I often use that method for making pasta.
I see from your later note that you want to make 8 trays but I am not sure how big your tray is. The recipe I give makes about 5 cups of struffoli, enough for a full 9-inch plate. You can certainly make larger batches by multiplying out the ingredients, but keep in mind that bigger batches can be more difficult to work with. As far as adding sugar to the honey is concerned, I have never tried that so I am not sure what effect it would have.
Hope this helps. Have a happy holiday! Michele

46 Dolores Menzella { 12.11.12 at 8:04 PM }

Hi Michele: Thank you for posting this recipe. This is the Neapolitan recipe that I use and have used for over 45 years. My ancestors were from Rotunda, Italy.

47 Tracy { 12.13.12 at 5:26 AM }

Hi Michele!

Thanks so much for the recipe and the memories. It was not Christmas until we all sat around the table making this. My grandparents were from Naples, and my dad gave me the same flour/egg ratio that you use, but my Nana also added 1/4 c. anisette to her recipe. I’m so glad to see another straightforward recipe like this…so many others I’ve seen have an ingredient list a mile long, when I know it was mostly just flour, eggs, and probably some tylenol for the shoulder pain you got from kneading the dough for what felt like forever!
I’m trying my hand at this for the 1st time on my own, and showing a friend how to make it as well. And the irony? My husband is in the Navy and we’re currently stationed in…NAPLES! I could just go buy some, but this is so much more fun!
Buon Natale!
Tracy

48 Michele Scicolone { 12.13.12 at 6:43 AM }

Thanks for writing, Dolores! We are fortunate to share and still enjoy these recipes handed down to us from our grandparents from Southern Italy.
Wishing you and yours a Buon Natale! Michele

49 Michele Scicolone { 12.13.12 at 6:50 AM }

Hi, Tracy, Struffoli is a very simple recipe, like so much of good Italian cooking. I don’t think they had tylenol back in my grandmother’s day, but a glass of that anisette might of helped to ease her shoulder pain!
How nice that you are living in Naples. What a great experience! If I were you, I would make the struffoli at home, but go out for a sfogliatella — my favorite pastry. Buon Natale to you, too. Michele

50 Anthony { 12.13.12 at 8:45 PM }

To all those who are having “difficulty” with the honey slipping off the struffoli: here’s the secret. There is no secret. I am almost 80 years old and part of eating struffoli means scraping honey from the bottom of the dish. Like when you make an oil and vinegar dressing. You have to shake it vigorously before each use. That’s just the way God made it. So it is with honey and struffoli.. Personally I prefer the honey right out of the jar without heating and I enjoy scooping honey on top of each serving so that I get more honey that way. As a youngster, every time I passed the struffoli dish I would pick one or two from the top, dip them in the honey that settled at the bottom of the dish and invariably got some honey on my clothing but enjoyed every minute of it. With time I mastered the art of dipping struffoli without spilling any honey. When I eat struffoli, I feel like I’m nine years old.

51 Michele Scicolone { 12.14.12 at 5:16 AM }

Well said, Anthony! Buon Natale to you with plenty of struffoli!

52 Teri { 12.16.12 at 11:06 AM }

As I was reading the story it brought back so many wonderful memories for me. While all my aunts would make these wonderful treats it came to be that my mother’s were the best. And all agreed. I would stand next to my mother as she made the dough, then rolled them and in a rthym cut the balls. As I got older I was taught how to roll the ropes, then doing the cutting. It took awhile but I finally got the rythm down!
She showed me how to tell when they were done. And fill tins and tins of these tiny little crunchy dough balls. I of course would also take some even before the honey was on them. My mother would then seperate them into seperate tins, all now drenching in wonderful gooey honey and bright colorful candies (non-perils). Then off she would go from house to house delivering what everyone was waiting for.

When my mother passed away in 2006 all my cousins and now along their husbands or wives would say “I’m going to miss aunt Marie’s struffoli” She passed away the end of April and I simply couldn’t bring myself to make them. The Christmas after I got all my ingrediants stood in kitchen, looked up and said “Ok mom here goes. Just keep an eye on things for me that I remember everything you taught me” That year I brought them to my brother/sister-in-laws and one cousin’s house. At my cousin’s house were all our other cousins were there. They sat around the table, picking on these wonderful treats. Taking them and dipping them in the honey that collected at the bottom of the tin. And each one said “OMG these are just like aunt Marie’s!” That was in 2007 . Here it is 5 years later and I am going out to get all the ingrediants because everybody is now waiting for aunt Marie’s struffoli and it wouldn’t be Christmas without them.

Buon Natale to all

53 Michele Scicolone { 12.16.12 at 2:29 PM }

Thanks, Teri for sharing this beautiful memory! Buon Natale to you and your family. Michele

54 Millie Terranova { 12.19.12 at 9:53 PM }

How far advanced can I make the dough? If so, what is the best way to store it. Does the dough have to be room temp? Sorry for all the questions. Thanks in advance and Merry Christmas!

55 Millie Terranova { 12.19.12 at 9:54 PM }

Memory Blankets for the Victims of Newtown
http://wnep.com/2012/12/18/memory-blanke
BERWICK — This is a mission of love for Heather Bowling of Berwick and Stacy Blass of Pottsville. They’re crocheting…

1 of 2Choose a Thumbnail
This had gone viral and we are crocheting from all over the world!

56 Michele Scicolone { 12.20.12 at 6:31 AM }

Hi, Millie, 24 hours, more or less? Refrigerate it, but let it come to room temperature or it will be very hard to handle.
Merry Christmas to you, too! Michele

57 Michele Scicolone { 12.20.12 at 2:45 PM }

Thanks for this Millie. I will share it with a friend who crochets.

58 Juliet Pisa { 12.22.12 at 6:01 PM }

Hi Michele, My husband’s aunt makes the Struffoli very light and crispy.( she’s no longer around) but when I make it some are crispy and kind of heavy. What is causing it? I dont think she gave me the right amount of the ingredients.I like to make it for my kids and grandkids every christmas, to keep the tradition.my husband’s family are originally from Naples. Can you help?Grazie. Buon natale.

59 Lisa { 12.22.12 at 8:45 PM }

I have a quick question. Do you have to fry the balls as soon as they are formed? Could we roll them all out – put them on a cookie sheet and leave out on counter or refrigerate and them fry them tomorrow? Please let me know. I want to make the, for Christmas.

60 Michele Scicolone { 12.23.12 at 7:05 AM }

Hi, Juliet,
I have often found that family recipes need adjustments to the quantities of ingredients. Nobody had accurate measuring tools and they didn’t write things down, so it was pinch of this and a spoonful of that. That’s why I write cookbooks, to figure these things out and record the recipes we all enjoy as accurately as possible.
As far as the heaviness is concerned, your problem could be in the frying. If the oil is not hot enough, the balls don’t puff and they become oily and dense. A good frying thermometer or an electric deep fryer is helpful for judging the temperature. Hope this helps! Michele

61 Michele Scicolone { 12.23.12 at 7:11 AM }

Hi, Lisa,
I have never made struffoli that way, so I can’t be certain. But my guess is that unless they were well covered, the dough balls would dry out if you make them 24 hours ahead. Then they would not puff up the way they should when they are fried. If you try it, be sure that they are tightly sealed with plastic wrap. Also, I think they are better when they are finished and have a chance to soak up some of the honey before you eat them.

62 Lisa { 12.23.12 at 8:40 AM }

Hi there,
I went ahead and made it all last night. The rolling didn’t take as long as I thought so I had plenty of time and it came out great. Thanks for responding.

63 Lisa { 12.23.12 at 8:43 AM }

Heres a link to photo http://instagram.com/p/Tkb1ffyxeV/

64 Michele Scicolone { 12.23.12 at 7:14 PM }

Hope they are as good as they look, Lisa! Merry Christmas!

65 Lisa { 12.23.12 at 10:04 PM }

Perhaps you could help me with a lost recipe. My Italian Grandmother used to make. I have searched the Internet high and low and can’t find anything. She called them Crespelles or Crespellites. My Mom made them for as well but it’s been a long time. They were fried and you put powdered sugar or syrup on them for breakfast. All my Mom remembers is 6 eggs, a fistful of flour and some water to thin it out- i would like to know the real name and see a more precise recipe if possible. Then the batter was just spooned into the hot oil. The only things I found were Zeppole but this was a wet batter not a dough. I wonder if Grandma Theresa had the wrong name for them. They were so good. I loved them as a child on Christmas morning. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

66 RoseMarie Cresta { 03.16.13 at 7:10 PM }

Thank you for this great recipe.I can not remember a Christmas going by without these on Christmas Eve.My parents were from Naples,it was important to have these every year. I remember the rolling,the frying, my brothers and sister waiting patiently to get the first batch.I now am passing this recipe to my children who grew up eating Nonna’a stuff oil every christmas.Grazie!

67 Michele Scicolone { 03.20.13 at 3:52 AM }

I am so glad to hear that you are passing these recipes on to your children! Memories like these not only bring families together but also keep our heritage alive.
Thanks for sharing with me RoseMarie and Buona Pasqua!

68 Amalia { 12.02.13 at 2:36 AM }

Thankyou so much for your recipe for Struffoli. My mother came from Naples and gave me lots of recipes before she passed away but not the one for her Struffoli, I don’t know why we overlooked this is one. It’s coming up to Christmas and mother always made some for the family and this year they have asked if I could make some for them, so I had a trial run this weekend using your recipe and the verdict by all was absolutlely marvellous. I shall be making some more for Christmas.
Buon Natale

69 Joanne Myers { 12.02.13 at 12:56 PM }

Hi Michele, my grandmother used to make these every holiday and we loved them. Does this recipe make the strufoli hard and crunchy or do they come out light and airy. Grandmas were dense and crunchy and that’s how I want them to turn out. Thanks!!

70 Michele Scicolone { 12.02.13 at 1:40 PM }

There is nothing better than struffoli to trigger memories of childhood! I hope you and your family enjoy these, Amalia! Buon Natale to you, too.

71 Michele Scicolone { 12.02.13 at 1:44 PM }

Hi, Joanne,
When the struffoli are first made, they are crunchy, but as they sit for a while, they absorb the moisture from the honey and become somewhat softer.
I can only suggest you make a small batch and see if they suit your taste. I hope so! Have a great holiday.
Michele

72 Joanne Myers { 12.10.13 at 3:21 PM }

Michele, I followed your recipe. The dough rolled easily and when I put the cut pieces in the dough, it split and they ended up looking like toasted popcorn kernels. And the consistency of the stuffoli was very airy. What did I do wrong???????

73 Joanne Myers { 12.10.13 at 3:22 PM }

sorry, when I put the dough in the oil to fry it, that’s when the dough split.

74 Michele Scicolone { 12.10.13 at 5:21 PM }

Hi, Joanne,
Nothing went wrong! The moisture from the eggs turned to steam in the hot oil and this causes the dough to puff up. It is supposed to happen and if you look closely at my photos (sorry, they’re not the best) my struffoli puff up too. Similar to when you bake cake or bread.
If you read through the comments on this post, you will see that everyone has their own idea of what the perfect struffoli should be, depending on how their grandmother made them! If you want yours denser, you can try reducing the amount of eggs, but I am afraid the dough will be hard to work with.
Michele

75 Val Durfee { 12.24.13 at 7:42 PM }

Hi Michele,
I can’t wait to try your struffoli recipe. I managed to lose my grandmother’s handwritten recipe that was handed down from my mother (sob!). My grandmother also used karo syrup for her struffoli and I wondered if it was a depression-era thing?

I have a quest…my mother used to make what she called amaretti, but they were very moist and lumpy–quite macaroon like and had candied peel in them. Have you seen anything like that?

Thank you!
Val

76 Michele Scicolone { 12.30.13 at 7:52 AM }

Hi, Val, Hope you had a very merry Christmas!
I am afraid that Karo Syrup is a very American product and since it is inexpensive compared to honey, you probably are correct in thinking it would be a money saving gesture.
Not at all traditional.

As for the amaretti, I have had some with candied peel added, but I do not have a recipe to share with you. Why don’t you try making a standard amaretti recipe and add a couple of tablespoons of finely chopped candied orange peel and see how that works?

Regards, Michele

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