This recipe is from my great Aunt Connie Milano and goes back in my family a few generations, possibly more.
These cookies should be light, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. We only make them for Christmas and they are fantastic with a cup of tea or espresso.
As a kid, I liked these cookies when they were still hot and soft… the honey and the citrus really stand out. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family has.
Milano Christmas Stuffoli Recipe
serves about 12-16
4 cups flour (plus 1.5 extra for dusting)
5 teaspoons lemon zest
5 teaspoons orange zest
½ cup coconut or raw sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces grassfed butter, cut into small pieces and left to come to room temperature
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons Brandy or Amaretto
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Oil For Frying (canola or vegetable)
2 cups honey
1 cups sugar
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups slivered almonds, toasted (see Cook's Note)
Small Red, White & Green sprinkles or candied fennel seed
1. In a food processor or kitchen aid bowl, mix together 4 cups of flour, lemon zest, orange zest, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the eggs, brandy or amaretto, and vanilla and almond extracts. Pulse until the mixture forms into a ball.
2. Cover the inside of your hands with some over the extra dusting flour and remove the dough from the bowl placing it onto the center of a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Using some of the dusting flour, flour a clean flat surface to roll out the dough. (The dough will be soft but still shapeable.) Cut the dough into small strips and roll them so they are about the width of a chopstick. (Use flour if to sticky when rolling)
4. Cut the dough into small pieces, about the size of peanut. In the palm of your hand, using pressure, roll the dough into an even shaped ball.
5. In a pot on the stove bring your oil up to 350 degrees. Once at temperature, fry the balls until golden brown. Don’t over crowd your pot, fry in batches. Once done, allow the struffoli to drain off excess oil and place them into a big bowl.
6. In a saucepan, add the lemon juice, honey and sugar. With a medium heat, bring to a boil stirring to dissolve the sugar. After two or three minutes, pour over the struffoli and mix. The struffoli will absorb the mixture.
7. Add in the almonds and stir to distribute.
8. Plate and decorate with sprinkles.
Struffoli On Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Struffoli
Peter A Milano
Eat, Drink, and Explore from chef Peter's blog about his food experiences, recipes, and travel.