Struffoli (Honey Balls)

"Struffoli is a classic Southern Italian pastry that you usually get around Christmas or Easter to celebrate the holidays," says Joseph Baldino, chef/owner of Zeppoli in Collingswood. "It's just a simple, but delicious, fried pastry dough rolled in honey with some citrus. We give it away as a complimentary treat after dinner at Zeppoli."

Struffoli (Honey Balls)

10 servings


3 cups all-purpose flour (or as needed)
1 tablespoon sugar
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
grated zest of 1/2 orange
pinch salt
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon grappa, rum, or vanilla
3 cups vegetable oil (for frying)

Honey syrup:

2 cups honey
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water

Colored candy sprinkles


Stir flour, sugar, salt, lemon and orange zest in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the eggs, butter and grappa.

Blend together with your hands missing in all the dry ingredients until smooth.

Remove the dough from the bowl and on a clean surface, lightly knead it for 4 minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Pull off quarter-size pieces of dough and roll into balls. Drop them into your oil (heated to 350 degrees F). When golden brown (about 3 minutes in the oil) remove with a wire skimmer and let drain on a paper towel.

In frying pan, blend together honey, sugar and water to make your Honey Syrup. Once blended, add your fried dough to the honey until all evenly coated. Remove from heat onto a platter or small plates and finish with sprinkles.

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