History has been my favorite thing since I was a kid. And I really love food when it comes with its history ; where does it originally come from, when do people cook it, how do they cook it, etc, etc.
I found this little sweet one and just knew about it by the time I made them. The name Struffoli is generally believed to come from the Greek word Strongulos, meaning round in shape ( oh, forgive my not-all-round-in-shape-ones ). According to tradition, Struffoli are considered good luck because of the small balls are a symbol of abundance. Apparently they are served during Christmas in Naples . I guess it’s connected to the meaning, since Christmas is followed by New Year, so people wish for an abundance in everything in their life for the coming New Year ( this is my interpretation ).
I think making Struffoli in January is fine . I think any day is fine as they are easy to make, sweet, fun and yummy.
This is the recipe ( adapted from Laura Vitale )
1 ¾ cups of Flour
Zest of 1 Orange ( I omit this as I don’t have it in hand )
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 Tbsp of Sugar
Small Pinch of Salt
1 Tbsp of Limoncello or Orange Juice ( I used Orange Juice )
1 cup of Honey
Vegetable Oil for frying
1) In a large bowl, mix together the flour, eggs, orange zest, lemon zest, sugar, salt and orange juice (dough will be very sticky) .Dump dough onto a floured surface and form into a ball (add more flour as you pull it together so it’s no longer sticky ).
2) Sprinkle a little flour in a small bowl and set the dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest on the counter for 30 minutes.
3) In a deep skillet , add enough oil to get up to about 3 inches. Heat over medium high heat until the oil is about 370 degrees when tested with a thermometer. ( I don’t have a thermometer so I just tested the heat by slipping in a dough ball to see if it gives off a lively sizzle ) .
4) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour, set aside, also line another baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.
5) Once the dough has rested, place it on a floured surface and cut into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a thin rope shape and cut ¼ inch pieces. Roll each piece into a round ball and place them on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.
6) Fry the struffoli carefully in the hot oil making sure to constantly turn them around as they fry for even cooking, once they are deep golden brown, remove onto the paper towel lined baking sheet.
7) Heat the honey in a small pot until slightly runny, add it to a big bowl and add in the cooked struffoli, toss them well for a few minutes or until they are well covered in the honey. Sprinkle over some sprinkles and let them sit for a wile before serving.