Smile Politely

B. Joseph White – President, University of Illinois: Struffoli

My grandparents were Italian immigrants. They loved food — pasta, prosciutto, roasted chicken and American favorites like apple pie.

One of my grandmother’s specialties was struffoli, a snack or dessert that I loved as a child. I’d describe struffoli as doughnut pieces drizzled with honey and sprinkled with powdered sugar. My grandmother would make the dough, slice it into bite-sized pieces, fry them and then put them in a bowl with honey and sugar. I’d sometimes treat myself to an extra dish of honey.

B. Joseph White

B. Joseph White’s Struffoli Recipe

For the dough sift together:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp baking powder

Beat together:

  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla

When well beaten, add flour mixture. Knead into firm dough that does not stick to fingers. Add a little more flour if needed. Form into long roll. Refrigerate for about an hour. Slice rolls into ®” lengths. On lightly floured board, roll each piece into a long rope. Cut rope into 1½ inch pieces.

For frying:
Cooking oil
Fry the struffoli on a low heat, a few at a time, until golden brown.

For the topping:
8 oz honey
¼ cup powdered sugar

When removed from oil, drain on paper towel. When slightly cooled, place the struffoli in a dish with sides in layers and pour honey on each layer. After pouring honey on the top layer, sift powdered sugar over the whole thing.

(Photo by Justine Bursoni)

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