Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cicerchiata (Struffoli): a Honey Sweetened Italian Christmas Treat (Mini Pastry Balls in Honey)

You may remember the cioffe I made earlier this year: deep fried bows of lightly sweetened pastry?

Well, this Christmas treat uses the exact same dough, but instead of rolling out the pastry thinly and shaping into bows, long, thin pieces of dough are rolled out and cut into tiny pieces and deep-fried. Here's how to make "cicerchiata" (CHEE-cherr-KEY-ahta). This is more of a guide than a recipe as once the dough is made, amounts are not critical.

Also, my Nonna called this 'cicerchiata', but according to internet research, it seems that 'struffoli' is the name used during the Christmas holidays...I tried to get confirmation from my cousin Gianfranco in Italy, but after messaging him my questions, and not getting a clear answer, I told him he was fired! :)



About half the recipe from here 
Warm honey (preferably raw)
Colored sprinkles or dragees

Roll out tiny, long strips of dough and cut into little pieces.

Deep fry these little guys (in small batches), which will puff up into small balls of pastry which look like ceci, or garbanzo beans. 

When they start to turn a little brown, remove from the hot oil and place on 
a paper towel-lined plate.

When all of the dough is fried, mix with some warm honey...

and shape into a wreath, or place on a plate in a mound.

sprinkle with edible Christmas colored decorations, or silver dragees.

Allow to cool completely, so it will become more firm.

MERRY CHRISTMAS from my cucina to yours!

 More Italian recipes...

A typical December day in Los Angeles


  1. Beautiful, reminds me of my childhood, I remember my Aunt making but she made them bigger or maybe I was smaller. It's delicious and was always made at Christmas.

  2. Merry Christmas Christina! I love the STRUFFOLI recipe. We make them as well. They are addicting, you can't just have one, so sweet and fun to eat. We pile them up in the shape of a tree or a small mountain. but never have make them into a wreath...Thank for the idea, it looks beautiful...Hope that your day is filled with fun, family, friends, and lots of yummy food! Dottie :)


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