Grandma Helen's Struffoli

"This is an Italian Christmas Tradition. This is my moms family recipe and is tried and true. It is quite festive and makes a nice holiday gift too."
 
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photo by Dee514 photo by Dee514
photo by Dee514
photo by Carb Lover photo by Carb Lover
Ready In:
1hr
Ingredients:
11
Yields:
1 Large Holiday Platter
Serves:
12
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ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 12 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 12 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 fluid ounce whiskey (rye, bourbon, or Canadian is fine but not Scotch)
  • 3 cups honey (Traditionaly we have always used Golden Blossom brand if not available use pure clover honey)
  • oil (for deep frying) or shortening (for deep frying)
  • multi colored sprinkles (These are the little round hard sprinkles rather than the soft elongated ones used on ice cream cone)
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directions

  • Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Add all liquid ingredients (Except honey) to dry to form a dough.
  • Knead dough well to incorporate all ingredients.
  • For balls roll dough out in 1/4 inch round strips like pencils.
  • Cut the pieces at small intervals with an angle cut.
  • How far apart you make the cut is your judgment call, as the smaller the spacing the smaller the balls and vice versa.
  • Mom likes the look leaving them as is with the angle cut giving a unique shape to the balls as they fry.
  • If you prefer perfectly rounded balls, you can roll the pieces in the palms of your hands like miniature meatballs before frying.
  • For ribbons cut some of the dough in flat strips about 1/2 inch wide preferably using a crimped edge cutting wheel as it gives a fancy serrated edge to them.
  • Form loops or bow shapes with the ribbons and deep fry balls and ribbons separately until golden brown (ribbons as they are flat will cook quicker than the balls).
  • Drain on absorbent paper.
  • Heat honey in a deep pot until it starts to thin out and become pourable.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Dip bows and ribbons in warm honey and set aside.
  • Add balls to the honey and toss to coat.
  • Transfer balls to holiday platter and top with the ribbons and bows.
  • Or you can mound the balls to look like a Christmas tree and decorate with bows on the sides.
  • Sprinkle with multi colored sprinkles.

Questions & Replies

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Reviews

  1. Dee514
    I made your grandmother's struffoli recipe today, and I was impressed. This recipe is the closest to my grandmother's recipe yet! The only difference is that nana's dough wasn't quite as sweet. I think I will experiment with cutting back on the sugar in the next batch. Thanks sooo much for posting it! :)
     
  2. Paisan di Fontana
    This is pretty good, but I recommend using fresh squeezed lemon juice instead of the vinegar. Some recipes call for limoncello, but using a lemon juice/whiskey combo works well. I also add the zest of 1 lemon to the dough to give it a really good flavor. Other notes about this recipe: I had to add quite a bit of extra flour to the dough to make it not so sticky, and I only needed about half of the honey called for to coat my struffoli.
     
  3. Nana G
    What a great recipe. I've never made them before because I thought it would take up so much time. I had 2 of my friends over watching me make it yesterday it was so much fun and I must say they really came out great. thank you so much Nana G
     
  4. Carb Lover
    Excellent and easy. I love these and my aunts or cousins always made them at Christmas. Now its my turn,I have no idea why it took me so long to make them. I used Jameson's whiskey, since I'm half Italian half Irish I figured it works - LOL Thanks, these will now be on my table every holiday. PS. I also use my regular spoons to measure as did my mom and Nona ;)
     
  5. Steve P.
    Dee my grandmother never owned a measuring tablespoon and neither does my Mom. She used a tablespoon or soup spoon as some would call it out of the silvaware draw. So that may well account for the difference in the sugar amount.
     
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Tweaks

  1. Paisan di Fontana
    This is pretty good, but I recommend using fresh squeezed lemon juice instead of the vinegar. Some recipes call for limoncello, but using a lemon juice/whiskey combo works well. I also add the zest of 1 lemon to the dough to give it a really good flavor. Other notes about this recipe: I had to add quite a bit of extra flour to the dough to make it not so sticky, and I only needed about half of the honey called for to coat my struffoli.
     

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