Struffoli is a traditional Neopolitan dessert that is mainly comprised of fried dough circles roughly the size of marbles.The name Struffoli actually originates from the Greek word “strongulous” which means “rounded”. Some consider Struffoli to be a cookie while others describe it as just dough fritters. The dish is typically made around Christmastime and is arranged on a plate in a ring to represent a Christmas wreath or in a cone shape to simulate a Christmas tree. Multi colored sprinkles or candies are often mixed in with the Struffoli to make them even more festive.
Struffoli can be served at room temperature or sometimes warm. The dough is customarily fried in olive oil (however many now use vegetable or canola oil instead) and then tossed with honey, cinnamon and orange rind. While the outside of the dough is nice and crispy, the inside remains light and fluffy making the Struffoli all too easy to pop into your mouth!
This amazing Italian dessert may look complicated as any dessert this eye catching must be difficult to make. However, you do not need to be a professional pastry chef to make delicious Struffoli right in your own home. The dough for this recipe is made in a food processor and the ingredients are simply mixed together until a nice, smooth dough ball forms. The dough is left to rest then rolled into balls, floured and fried. Honey syrup is then tossed with the Struffoli and plated however you’d like. Voila! A perfect Italian dessert.
Struffoli is a traditional Neopolitan dessert that is mainly comprised of fried dough circles roughly the size of marbles. Typically made around Christmas time, the tiny fried dough balls are tossed with honey and garnished with colorful sprinkles and/or candies.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 orange, zested
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tbsp white wine
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 cups oil for frying, vegetable, canola or olive
- 1 cup honey
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 tsp orange zest
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- Sprinkles for decoration
- Powdered sugar for decoration
- Add the flour, orange zest, sugar, salt and baking powder to a food processor and pulse to mix up the dry ingredients.
- Add the butter to the food processor and pulse again until the mixture resembled course meal.
- With the food processor running, add the eggs, wine and vanilla extract. Keeps the food processor running until a dough ball forms.
- Remove the dough from the food processor, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it sit for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Unwrap the dough and divide it into 4 equal parts. Roll each section into a long log about 1/4 of an inch thick.
- Cut the log into 1/2 inch pieces and then roll the dough pieces with your hands to form small balls.
- Toss the dough balls in flour to lightly coat them (shake any extra flour off).
- Heat your oil in a large saucepan to about 375 degrees F. Toss the dough balls into the hot oil, working in batches as to not over crowd the pan.
- Fry the dough for about 2-3 minutes then place on a paper towel to drain off any excess oil.
- In a separate saucepan, bring the honey, sugar, orange juice and orange zest to a boil and let cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Place the Struffoli in a large bowl and pour the syrup over the top. Add the cinnamon and toss the dough to coat completely in the syrup then arrange on a plate however you’d like (a traditional cone or wreath perhaps).
- Dust the Struffoli with powdered sugar and sprinkles and serve warm!