December 17, 2007

Break 'em hard

It's the holidays, so if you're gonna break diet rules, break 'em hard and nourish yourself with traditions, smiles and um, yule? For me, Christmas means Strufoli–a traditional italian treat of honeyed fried dough. As I kid I'd devour these, especially savoring the pieces at the bottom of the bowl sitting entirely in a pool of thick, vanilla flavored honey. Mmmmmmm This is a sugar spike I'll endure in the name of feeling like a kid again.

2 cups flour
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
colored non-pareil type sprinkles
1 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat eggs in large mixing bowl. Add all dry ingredients. Mix with your clean, bare hands until dough forms a ball. With floured rolling pin, roll dough onto a well-floured surface to 1/2" thick. This takes some effort! Using butterknife, slice into 1/2" grid. Allowing dough to dry for an hour or so makes the next step easier.

Heat oil in dutch oven on medium heat. Transfer dough pieces into oil, lowering with a slotted spoon. Deep fry one spoonful at a time. Make sure to flip each piece to cook evenly. Cook until pieces are light golden brown, then use slotted spoon to transfer to a brown paper bag from the grocery store. Repeat, one spoonful at a time, until all the fried dough is in the bag.

The brown bags will absorb the excess grease from the strufoli. My mom used to do the frying while I would shake the bags. Then, transfer to a new brown bag and repeat. Store strufoli in bags, preferably near a radiator, for at least 24 hours with regular shaking to keep well mixed. Change bags as they show oil stains on the outside.

Finally, heat honey and vanilla in a large pot over low/med heat. When melted, add strufoli and stir with wooden spoon to coat evenly. Pile into a bowl, including all the honey. Sprinkle with non-pareils. Cover with foil.


The Maiden Metallurgist said...

Strufoli! For the first time this year I'm excited for the season. Thanks for this little reminder of Christmases past.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Hi Michelle,
You know my mom and grandmother never made stufoli.Pizzelle yes, strufoli, no. I only had them at weddings or anniversary parties for some reason. Maybe I should try my own hand at them.

Thanks, Susan