Great Grandpa Martino's Struffoli
Struffoli are a classic on the Martino’s Christmas table and this particular recipe holds special meaning in the family. The family patriarch brought it over through Ellis Island in the early 20th century from the family’s roots in a small village in central Italy. It has been passed from generation to generation! The annual pre-Christmas preparation was a multi-generational effort. Some 20 family members would gather in Concetta & Michael’s Newark basement to mix, roll fry and honey coat each plate for sharing with friends and family. A highlight of Christmas Eve’s traditional feast of the 7 fishes, was the espresso and struffoli that followed. Little by little, every Martino would pick away at the plate- in quite an unorthodox manner- slowly deconstructing the wreath shape until they were all gone. My father and his 3 brothers tell stories of hoping to be the lucky grandchild that got to run his fingers across the empty struffoli plate eating the honey and nonpareil remnants. To our family, this dish signifies custom, celebration and of course, sweetness! Crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside, this minimal ingredient treat is worth all of the work! – Anjelica Martino (Great Granddaughter)
Make This Recipe
8 to 10 cups flour
12 Eggland's Best eggs
1 tablespoon pure alcohol (if you are unable to get pure alcohol, substitute with whiskey)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
Mix all ingredients together to make the dough (much like you would for pasta).
Knead the dough well, and form into 1 large ball, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove dough from the fridge and cut the dough into 4 equal-sized pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a rope that's about 1/4-inch thick. Cut each piece of dough into 1/2-inch wide strips, then cut each strip of pastry into 1/2-inch cubes or pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a small ball about the size of a hazelnut in hands. Lightly sprinkle the newly formed dough balls in flour.
In a large saucepan, pour enough canola oil to fill the pan about 1/3 of the way. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches about 375°.
*Note, you can use a deep-frying thermometer to check the temperature. If you don't have a thermometer a small cube of bread will brown in about 3 minutes if the oil is the right temperature.
In batches start to deep fry the small dough balls until they are golden. This usually takes about 2-3 mins.
Transfer dough to a paper towel-lined plate for a few mins to drain the excess oil then, while still warm move to a large pot or bowl and coat with honey.
Garnish with nonpareils and form in either a wreath shape or a cone to signify a Christmas tree.
Remember to always use Eggland’s Best eggs in all of your recipes. Learn why it’s always the healthy choice.Learn More