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Struffala ~ Italian Honey Balls

Updated on July 2, 2017

You know Christmas is here when ...

... the pyramids of honey balls (Stuffala in Italian) start to appear in bakeries. The only problem is all of the bakeries I've bought them from bake them, and I call those "Air Balls", and that's what they taste like.

Italian Honey Balls
photo © by Judy Ferony

My mother (may she rest in peace) always fried the Struffula, that's the way I make them now that she's gone. Struffoli is the right way to spell it in Italian; these honey balls have been in my family for generations. This I my family recipe and I hope you and your family enjoy them as my as I did and still do. Happy Holidays to all my Hubpage readers; lets hope 2016 is a better year for World Peace and being Kind to each other.

The dough can be made the night before, you can even form the dough balls and freeze them if need be; I recommend you start early in the morning, fried food of any kind tastes better when served fresh. Once they are finished and soaked in honey they last a few days, although you should add the sprinkles at the last minute or the colors run and makes them look muddy.

  • Prep time: 1 hour
  • Cook time: 2 hours
  • Ready in: 3 hours
  • Yields: 10 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 2 eggs (some people only use the yolks)
  • 1/2 cup of Crico
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons of Stock Sweet Vermouth
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder (some say to leave this out)

Instructions

  1. Mix all your dry ingredients first, then cut in the Crisco (vegetable shortening). I add the lemon zest, sugar and Vermouth to the eggs. Combine all together and let rest for 20 minutes. The easiest way to make the marble sized balls (perhaps a little bigger than a marble) is to roll the dough into ropes and cut off pieces that way; you don't want to make them too big, you may have to roll the pieces a little bit to make them round (or you can leave them a little rustic looking).
  2. I use vegetable oil or peanut oil (which can be a little expensive); you can try your own blend. Heat the oil enough so when you drop a test struffala in it gets golden quickly (about a minute); just make sure you don't heat the oil to where it starts to smoke. These recipes were seldom written down, they were passed from mother to daughter; I've tried my best to give you my family recipe. Don't put them all in the oil do about 10 - 15 at a time otherwise the oil bubbles up on you and gets foamy. Use a strainer or slotted spoon to fish them out of the oil and onto brown paper bag or paper towel; let them cool on a drying rack, then coat them with the honey sauce plate them and sprinkle some cake sprinkles on them at the last minute (the little round ones not the ones you put on ice cream cones).

Struffala / Honey Balls Coated in Honey Sauce

Honey Balls
Honey Balls
  • Cook time: 45 min
  • Ready in: 45 min
  • Yields: 10

Honey Sauce

  • 16 ounce jar of honey of your choice
  • zest and juice of an orange

Instructions

  1. Add the above ingredients in a saucepan over a low to medium flame and reduce until it thickens; let it cool a little then coat your Stuffala after you fry them, add cake sprinkles last (you can also add some orange zest to taste).

Orange Blossom Honey on eBay

... heck even been known to hang out in Conti's Bakery in the Bronx, along with Freakin' and the Boston Cream Pies. Did you see Regis on 20/20?

First You Make A Rope - and cut it into marble size segments

turning it a little each time you cut a piece.

Fry Them In Vegetable Oil - till they're golden brown

Stir Them In A Honey Pot

Duel Debate Module

Do you prefer Struffala baked or fried?

I like them fried.

I like them fried.

Submit a Comment

  • iulianaionescu 4 years ago

    Fried

  • Margaret Schaut 4 years ago from Detroit

    They're crispier when fried. I like that.

  • Thamisgith 4 years ago

    I think fried sounds better.

  • kabbalah lm 4 years ago

    They sound yummy either way

  • bothewebguy 4 years ago from North Myrtle Beach, SC

    Look Good - Haven't tried them yet, but I would go FRIED!!

  • TedWritesStuff 4 years ago

    Fried everytime

  • ArtisanalFoodLo 4 years ago

    fried

  • dahlia369 4 years ago

    Fried tastes better... :)

  • Gloria Freeman 4 years ago from Alabama USA

    Fried always taste better.

  • Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

    I'm going with the way Mama made 'em :)

  • Elaine Chen 4 years ago

    although bake is more healthier but I like fried food

  • Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

    Fried food just has a flavor that baked food can't match. Fried for me please.

  • Deadicated LM 4 years ago

    @Funkysi: They are a favorite of mine. Thanks for your participation on my Lens.

  • Tony Bonura 4 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

    Fried is how my grandmother, a first generation Sicilian, cooked them. I can taste them now..I wish it was more than just memories and I had some real ones right now.

    TonyB

  • Funkysi 4 years ago

    I like this honey balls

  • Gregory Moore 4 years ago from Louisville, KY

    I haven't tried them yet, but everything tastes better when it is fried, right?

  • crstnblue 4 years ago

    Never tried before, but most probably fried taste better! :))

  • sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

    i like fried one

I decided to switch things up and make the "Bake or Fried" question a Duel Mod., all the comments left before will stand; just know that if they seem a little out of place, that was the original question posed.