As we prepare for Christmas, I can’t help but share one of my childhood favorites – Struffoli otherwise known as Italian Honey Balls. Crisply fried dough balls are bound together with warm honey then piled high and topped with cherries and sprinkles.
There was skit in the television showThe Nanny关于在美国姓氏和家族病史。Fran Drescher’s character was talking with a few highbrow European types, all of whom could trace their lineage back countless generations, and her response was something along the lines of, “We’re from New York, that’s all we know for sure, Ellis Island couldn’t spell our names right so now we don’t know who the hell we are.”
我奇怪的是,这是一个情绪有关rom time to time, even though when was I growing up “who we are” was still in living memory. But when your a kid, you rarely think to ask about things like family history and ‘life in the Old World,’ and as time goes by, more and more you’re left to the mercy of poorly preserved – and poorly spelled – decades-old immigration records. My son was still in high school when he got the itch to go digging through manifests from Ellis Island, records which had only just become freely available online at the time. He ended up finding some pertinent pieces of the family puzzle, which traced my father back to Matera – a small town southwest of Bari, built on the Parco della Murgia Materana (a state park), and when he shared this portion of what he found with my eldest brother Bob, my brother looked bitterly confused, and responded “Matera? What? Where’s that? I thought we were from Naples.”
Regardless of which piece of the puzzle, or version of the story happens to be right, I certainly can’t wholly fault my brother’s Neapolitan assumption, as one of our family’s most common dessert accompaniments were ‘pyramids’ of Struffoli, a Neapolitan confection of sweetened dough fried to a slight crisp and then drenched in warmed honey.
As you may have guessed, struffoli are the third addition to this week’s dessert table leading up to the final unveiling of our tablescape.
Now, to start things off, in a stand-mixer with the paddle attachment blend together flour, sugar, baking powder, shortening, and vanilla in the quantities listed below. As the dough is coming together, add in three eggs one at time, mixing the dough as you go.
Now, roll out those portions into half-inch rolls, then further divide those into half-inch pieces, and then roll out the balls until they are a little smaller than a marble – keep in mind that these puff up during frying.
一旦这样做了，在炒锅热油足以淹没面团油炸 - 关于石油2〜3英寸就足够了。您如果您使用的是温度计要在大约350华氏度的油。然后小心地把球在油，小心不要过度拥挤的锅，炒，直到他们金黄酥脆。然后将它们转移到纸巾衬盘或线架排出。
While the struffoli are still warm, transfer them to a large bowl. Now, in a small saucepan, heat up about a cup of honey over low-medium heat until it has melted down, then drizzle over the struffoli, and gently toss until they are thoroughly coated in the warm honey.
Finally, plate them as pictured below into a ‘mound’ or ‘pyramid,’ and garnish with sprinkles and maraschino cherries.
Enjoy with Love!