The Most Underrated Christmas Dessert…EVER

One of the many perks of having a distinguished team of Italian chefs that lead the culinary team at NAVARRA, is that we get the most authentic recipes of traditional dishes bound to have you screaming for more.

The Most Underrated Christmas Dessert…EVER

One of the many perks of having a distinguished team of Italian chefs that lead the culinary team at NAVARRA, is that we get the most authentic recipes of traditional dishes bound to have you screaming for more. 

Now, what is Struffoli? A holiday favorite in Italy, Struffoli is essentially rolled dough balls of around 3/4 of an inch in diameter. Served simple or with toppings, this moreish dessert will make your Christmas season a whole lost sweeter. Best part is, it only takes around half an hour to prepare and make!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1 orange zest
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs medium
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp rum or brandy
  • Vegetable or canola oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Sprinkles
  • Candied fruits
  • Confectioner’s sugar

Instructions

Mixing the Struffoli

  1. Mix the flour, lemon and orange zest, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
  2. In a food processor, mix the dry ingredients with butter. Blend until all the lumps of butter are almost gone. The mixture should resemble a coarse meal.
  3. Slowly add the eggs and vanilla extract. Blend until the dough becomes something that resembles a big ball.
  4. Cover the dough with a saran wrap and keep in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Next, roll the dough into thick cords of about a quarter of inch thick. Cut the dough into portions of about half an inch and roll each into small balls. Each dough ball should be about the size of a regular hazelnut.
  6. Lightly dust the dough balls with flour. Make sure to cover every one but make sure not to put too much flour.

Frying the Struffoli

  1. In a saucepan, put some oil over medium heat. Keep track of the temperature using a thermometer. Heat it up until it reaches 190 degrees Celsius.
  2. Fry the dough balls in batches. It should take around two to three minutes per batch. Dough balls should be a light golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile, line a serving plate with paper towels.
  4. Once the dough balls are done, place them on the plate and let the paper towels absorb the excess oil.

Glazing the Struffoli

  1. Combine honey, lemon juice, rum (or brandy), and sugar in a saucepan. Cook the mixture under medium heat.
  2. Continuously stir the honey mixture with a spatula, and cook until all the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Once it’s done, turn off the heat and add the fried dough balls carefully into the mixture. Stir the mixture carefully, making sure not to damage the dough.
  4. Once all the dough balls are covered with the honey mixture, transfer them to a serving plate. Set the remaining mixture aside.
  5. Meanwhile, arrange the dough balls around the serving platter, leaving a hole at the center. You may place a glass in the middle so that you can estimate the hole you are creating. You can also simply make a mound of dough balls at the center if you want an easier assembly.
  6. After you’ve assembled the dough balls on the serving plate, carefully pour some of the remaining honey mixtures on top. Put as much as you prefer.
  7. Next, cover the dough balls immediately with sprinkles, confectioner’s sugar, or any other edible decorations on top.
  8. Serve immediately!

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