Strufoli is a delicious dessert from the Umbria region. Generally found as a Christmas dessert, this dish is essentially little fried dough balls coated in honey. I believe they are supposed to be slightly darker than mine came out, and to do that I would have needed to boil the honey a little longer. Other than that, these came out great.
Traditionally, they should be covered with a kind of colored sugar crystals, but lacking those I just put some plain sugar on top. You could also add sprinkles if you just wanted to get that decorative color. It is also supposed to be formed into a ring after the little honey morsels cool a bit, but unfortunately I suffered a nasty burn while coating the strufoli in honey, and wasn't in any shape to fiddle with the form. That's why mine is just in an unceremonious mound. But hey, good presentation or not, these were a great dessert.
I'd like to try these again and maybe save some of the batch of fried dough and cover them with powdered sugar and cinnamon rather than honey. Oh, the possibilities!
Adapted from allrecipes.com
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon lemon juice
4 eggs, beaten
vegetable oil for frying
1 1/2 cup honey
Sugar, colored sugar, or sprinkles for garnish
- Melt the butter.
- Put 2 1/2 cups of the flour in a large bowl. Add the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Make a well in the center and add in the lemon juice, butter and eggs. Using a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients to form a dough. Once it becomes too difficult to use the spoon, use your hands to mix until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl easily.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until it is no longer sticky. Add remaining 1/2 cup of flour as needed.
- Break off pieces of the dough and roll out to the thickness of a pencil. Cut off sections about 1/4 inch long and roll these sections into balls. They should be a little larger than a pea. (Don't worry, these will expand when fried.)
- In a deep pot, add about 2 inches of oil. Add the dough balls and fry until golden brown. Depending on the size of your pot, you made need to do this in batches. Drain on a paper towel.
- In a saucepan, bring the honey to a gentle boil. Let boil for about 3 minutes (or until the honey starts to get darker). Add the dough balls and stir to get them completely coated.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the strufoli from the honey. Place on a plate or platter. Once they have cooled enough to handle, shape into a ring or just leave in a mound shape. Sprinkle with sugar or sprinkles for garnish.
Ryan's rating of Strufoli - 3.