Baked for Christmas and the New Year for luck, these little ‘honey balls’ are some of the yummiest cookies you will ever taste. A tradition that comes to us from Southern Italy, it will make you sad they are only served once a year. But the good news is that they are served to make your guests feel welcome!
Makes 8-10 Servings
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons brown rice syrup
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup semolina flour
Pinch sea salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Grated zest of 1 orange
¼ cup sparkling wine or water
Oil, for frying
1 cup brown rice syrup
1 tablespoon orange juice
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Make the dough. Bring the water, syrup and oil to a boil. Whisk together flours, salt, baking powder and soda and zests. Mix in boiling water mixture and stir well. Add wine or sparkling water and mix well. Add wine/water as needed to create a soft dough, but not sticky.
Oil a cutting board and turn dough onto it. Pat down flat and fold dough to create 3 layers. Flatten it and repeat this process 3 more times.
Cut off 1/3 of the dough and roll out into a thin cylinder, about ¼-inch thick. Pinch off grape-size pieces ands fry in hot oil until golden and puffy. Drain on paper.
Once all the struffoli are fried, make the glaze. Heat the brown rice syrup gently until it thins a bit. Remove from heat and stir in orange juice. Toss the struffoli with the glaze and mound onto a plate in the shape of a wreath. Sprinkle with coconut and serve.