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Struffella alla Gilda Puglisi

From Italian Cooking and Living, October/November 2001

  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup Anisette
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 cups peanut oil
  • 3 cups liquid honey
  • multi-colored nonpareils

Mix the flour with the baking powder and cinnamon on a counter. Work in the butter, eggs, Anisette, and vanilla. Knead until a soft, pliable dough forms, about 5 minutes, adding a little flour if the dough is sticky or a little water if it is dry. Shape into a ball, place in a bowl, and cover with a damp cloth; let rise for 1 hour at room temperature. Keeping most of the dough under the damp cloth to prevent it from drying, tear off a small piece with your hands and roll it between your hands into a 1/2"-thick log. Cut into 1/2" pieces. Repeat until all the dough has been cut and shaped.

Heat the oil to 350 in a deep pan. Fry the dough in four or five batches until it is golden all over and nicely puffed, about 3 minutes per batch. Remove with a slotted spoon to a tray lined with paper towels and blot dry. Transfer to a bowl. This is the struffella. Warm the honey in a 2-quart saucepan. Drizzle the struffella with the honey, sprinkle with the nonpareils, and stir well. Store the struffella in an airtight tin, or in paper cupcake cups, for up to 1 month. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle the top with more nonpareils. Serves 12



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