Cicerchiata or Struffoli (Italian Honey Dough Balls)

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Cicerchiata or Struffoli (Italian Honey Dough Balls)
  1. Mix flour, eggs, butter, sugar, egg yolk, lemon zest, rum extract, and salt together in a large bowl to create a soft dough. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand for 30 minutes.

  2. Roll dough into a thin log the width of your pinky finger, about 1/4 inch. Cut log into small pieces; roll into balls. Dust with flour to prevent from sticking.

  3. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan. Place a few balls of dough in a sieve to shake off excess flour. Cook in the hot oil until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining balls of dough.

  4. Pour honey into a saucepan over low heat. Cook until a small amount of honey dropped into cold water forms a soft ball. Add fried balls of dough to the hot honey; stir gently with a wooden spoon until coated.

  5. Rinse a serving plate and shake off the water. Pile dough balls onto the serving plate in the shape of a dome or ring using damp hands or a damp wooden spoon. Garnish with sugar sprinkles. Let cool completely.

Cook’s Note:

You can also shape the struffoli on a wet work surface and then transfer to a serving plate. Or you can make a ring shape using a ring cake mold lined with parchment paper. Some water will help with the shaping and prevent too much sticking.

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