Cicerchiata or struffoli are honey sweetened, traditional Italian Christmas treats. Little balls of pastry are deep fried and coated in honey; very good!
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.
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! :)
Cicerchiata or Struffoli
- 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 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, and/or silver dragees.
Allow to cool completely. The cicerchiata ring will become more firm when cool.
MERRY CHRISTMAS from my cucina to yours!
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