Growing up in an Italian family, I have many memories of cooking and baking with my grandmother. Just one of my favorites is ‘Stuffoli’ or Honey Balls. At Christmas they have red & green jimmies sprinkled onto the mound of honey balls. A little messy to eat, but it wasn’t Christmas or Easter without this one Italian sweet!
400 g flour type 00
80 g butter, melted and cooled
40 g granulated sugar
2 Tbsp limoncello (or anice liquor, or orange liquor)
1 orange, the zest
1 lemon, the zest
1 levelled tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
About 600-700 ml peanut oil (or any other vegetable oil) for frying
250-300 g acacia honey
1 Tbsp icing sugar
3 Tbsp jimmies (sprinkles)
Melt the butter and let it cool. In a small bowl add the sugar and limoncello.
In a big bowl mix flour, baking powder, pinch of salt and the orange and lemon zests.
Add the melted butter, and the sugar/limoncello mixture.
With the help of a wooden spoon mix everything until you get a pebbly consistency.
Make a whole in the middle and add the eggs, then blend it with the wooden spoon, until smooth.
Shape into a ball, cover in plastic wrap and let it rest, at room temperature, for at least 30 minutes.
After the resting time, cut a slice of dough about 1.5 cm thick and roll out into a long piece of rope, about 1 cm diameter.
With a sharp knife cut the rope into pieces about 1 cm big, then roll each piece in the palm of your hands shaping it into little balls.
Heat up the peanut (vegetable) oil in a small tall pan about 18 cm diameter on medium heat.
Using a wire mesh colander ladle spoon, cook few of the dough balls at a time, for about 30-40 seconds. Don’t let them brown too much.
Once cooked, lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. When all drained, place them in a big bowl.
In another small pan over low heat melt the acacia honey and icing sugar, stirring constantly.
Take off heat and add to the struffoli in the bowl. Add half of the sprinkles and stir, making sure to coat all the stuffoli.
Before the honey hardens, place them in a serving dish or bowl and start shaping them as you most like, a pyramid, a wreath, a Christmas tree.
Add more sprinkles.
They last 1 week at room temperature
~ Janet Howard
Creator God, You know that we are made of dust and You Know our sins. Forgive us and do not remember our iniquity for ever, we humbly ask in Christ’s name. Amen.