The struffoli Carnival

Struffoli Carnival in Campania, pignoccata in Western Sicily, pignolata in the east and Calabria, Pinos in Sardinia, cicerchiata Abruzzo and Umbria. The recipes CARNIVAL SWEET wind, with lexical variations, throughout the peninsula. Among the most popular there are definitely CHATTER and struffoli, preparing for Christmas is traditionally, both for Carnival. I remember that, when I was younger, the Messina bakeries were filled with fried pignolata pyramids, like us chiamiano, dripping honey. In Messina then there is a peculiar version of pignolata, called "Mexican pignolata” which it is cooked in the oven and covered with a thick lemon frosting and chocolate.

The right ingredients for a perfect struffoli Carnival

Even if the name changes, the recipe of struffoli is always more or less the same: a poor dough based on flour, eggs, little or no sugar, peel of citrus fruits, lard and a shot of liquor, which is cut into pieces and then fried and seasoned with honey and other citrus peel. The recipe is simple of struffoli, but there are some small attentions to follow: first of all, struffoli not exist without the LARD. Do not you even think about replacing it with butter or oil. Yet, abundant use of CITRUS RIND, which gives color and scent to struffoli. Do not delete the LIQUOR, We need to give the dough lightly and to keep struffoli crispy longer: you can use the liquor you prefer, so the alcohol evaporates during cooking and likewise the taste.

The liqueur of struffoli is aniseed, but I have used the Maraschino, but you can use Witch, Limoncello, Anisetta,  Rum a Cointreau, as Favorites. When preparing the pieces of dough of struffoli to fry, remember that in triple cooking, so take the SMALL PIECES, indeed very small unless you want to end up with struffoli large as meatballs. Fry in peanut oil or high oleic sunflower, always with a thermometer indicating you the 165-170 degrees necessary and change the oil in the mid-frying. WAIT at least 6 hours before sampling struffoli: no kidding, is the minimum time necessary to take the right crunchy texture, and because honey, initially crystallized, sticky back. Otherwise how could you lick your fingers? And remember that, with the doses that will do, you will make a mountain struffoli. Have a nice day!

Struffoli CARNIVAL (easy recipe)

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  • 600 grams of flour 00
  • 5 grams of salt
  • 40 grams of sugar
  • 100 g lard
  • 30 milliliters of liquor, about two tablespoons (Maraschino, Anisetta, Witch, Limoncello, Rum, Cointreau)
  • 32 grams of egg yolks (approximately 2 medium egg yolks, but weight it)
  • 300 grams of whole eggs (about 6 medium eggs)
  • the grated rind of 2 lemons and oranges two biological
  • peanut oil for frying, to taste
  • FOR FROSTING struffoli:
  • 300 grams of orange honey or wildflower
  • colored sugar
  • grated rind of one organic Orange
  • Mixed candied orange and citron, to taste


the struffoli

The recipe is simple of struffoli. Once you have read and reread the beginning recommendations Article, you can prepare the dough: pour the flour on the work surface, putting at the center the yolks, the liquor, Salt, sugar, the grated rind of citrus fruits and lard. Mix until mixture is coarse and add one egg at a time, knead firmly until a soft dough but not sticky. I recommend lightly beat each egg before adding it to the dough, so the eggs gradually: if the dough becomes too soft, you might not have to finish all the six eggs.

When you have a homogeneous mixture, Make it a loaf: wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes (better one hour) at room temperature. After the time for rest, divide the dough into pieces and create thin sticks. Cut the sticks into small pieces and place them on a cutting board or a floured cloth. I recommend, will be thinner poles and smaller will be the best pieces will struffoli. Try to get regular pieces, all the same size.

Heat the peanut oil in a pot with high edges (I use a wok) and, when it arrived at a temperature of 165-170 degrees (always good advice to invest in a cooking thermometer) struffoli dive a few at a time with a slotted spoon. When struffoli will rise to the surface, move them with a slotted spoon to evenly browned. Obviously, more struffoli will be small and before doreranno. Drain struffoli and place on absorbent paper to remove excess oil.

Once fried all struffoli, put a large honey pot, grated orange zest and candied orange and citron cut into very small cubes. Warm the honey and, When it is hot, add struffoli, stirring gently until they are evenly coated with honey.

Pour the still warm struffoli on a serving plate, so as to form a pyramid and decorate with colored sugar. Is’ important to be quick in doing this because the sugar will stick to struffoli only if the cookies are still warm and sticky honey. Try to wait at least six hours before you eat them. Bon appétit!

The struffoli Carnival


You can save struffoli already iced up to 3-4 days in a dry, well ventilated area. The dough can easily freeze raw and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using it.

The struffoli Carnival

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Antonio Palombi 8 February 2019 at 17:34

I also do them by putting them on a lemon leaf.

Ada Parisi 11 February 2019 at 10:27

But what a great idea. If ever you had fresh lemon leaves and organic here in Rome definitely try. Thanks for the suggestion and welcome, ADA

elisabetta corbetta 8 February 2019 at 08:38

I love them I've eaten at Christmas
A big kiss

Ada Parisi 8 February 2019 at 12:26

In Sicily they are used for Carnival! A hug, ADA


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