These delicious honey balls are a traditional Italian Christmas sweet treat. Not only are they good to eat, but they also make a very festive centerpiece for a holiday dessert table.
What's more, preparing struffoli is a wonderful group or family activity as many hands make short work of rolling the dough.
To make them, carefully drop them one by one into hot frying oil, then watch them bubble up into a golden brown, Finally, add the honey, drizzle with colorful sprinkles... and Buon Natale (Merry Christmas!) to all.
You may want to double or even triple the ingredients in this recipe to serve a hungry holiday crowd.
Step 1: Struffoli Ingredients
4 egg yolks
2 egg whites
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons corn oil
1 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons rye whiskey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pint vegetable oil for deep frying
1 cup honey
Step 2: Separate the Eggs
First, take 4 eggs and separate the yolks from the whites so you end up with 4 eggs yolks and 2 whites. Save the remaining egg whites for another recipe.
Step 3: Mix the Wet Ingredients
In a large bowl, add the egg yolks, egg whites, sugar, oil, vinegar, whiskey and vanilla. Use a whisk to stir until thoroughly blended.
Step 4: Add the Dry Ingredients
Add flour, salt and baking powder, and mix well.
Step 5: Knead the Dough
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured board, and knead for a few minutes to make sure all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
Step 6: Roll Out Dough by Hand
Take handfuls of dough and roll into long snake shapes about the thickness of a chickpea. (If you have kids helping, this will be their favorite part!)
Step 7: Roll Into Small Dough Balls
Cut each 'snake' to make uniform chickpea-sized pieces. Roll each around in your hand until a soft ball appears. Continue until all the dough is used up.
Step 8: Fry the Dough
Heat several inches of oil in a large frying pan. Add dough balls slowly, and fry until golden brown. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Step 9: Sweeten the Pot!
Heat honey in a pot and add pieces of struffoli, coating well. Let cool for a few minutes before turning them out onto a serving plate.
When just cool, mound them up on a serving plate and add sprinkles. Let cool thoroughly before serving.
Serves about 4 people.