Let me start off by saying I’m sorry for posting two fried recipes in one week. That was cruel! At a time when people are trying to eat healthy…we’re living our lives in fried food heaven. Just kidding, we eat healthy sometimes too. And to be honest I don’t even feel that bad because both of these recipes were so good it would be a shame not to share them with you!

I’ve been wanting to make Struffoli ever since seeing Giada and her Aunt Raffy make it on her Christmas episode last year. But a year went by and I never did. While we were in Italy our favorite gelato place had struffoli, but it was called al forno. This was confusing to me because I think al forno means baked. I don’t know…maybe I read the sign wrong. I finally ordered it after eyeing the “al forno” for days. Surprise surprise…it was Struffoli. I liked it, but Kara didn’t because it tasted like black licorice. It seems there are not many people who don’t like black licorice. I assured Kara that Giada’s recipe was not anise flavored and convinced her to try it once we got home.

Giada used a glass and formed one large Struffoli in a circle shape around the glass. We chose to make our Struffoli in cupcake liners which worked for us because we prefer our desserts in individual servings.

Now that we’ve made the Struffoli for ourselves we know why Giada chose this recipe for a day when Aunt Raffy was there. This dessert is kind of tedious. We decided the prep work goes by a lot faster if you have two sets of hands rolling the dough into balls. Kara was busy with another recipe leaving me to do most of the rolling on my own. By the end I got a little sloppy!

If you’re looking for a traditional Italian dessert this is a great one to try. They are a must around Christmas time so unfortunately we’re a little late! They’re crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The zest from the lemon and orange gives the dough a fresh, sweet flavor. And the hard work is worth it because they taste yummy and make a great presentation!

Here's what you'll need

Start by toasting the hazelnuts, then rub them in a towel to help remove the skins

Like this…

In a food processor, combine flour, zest, sugar, salt and baking powder

Add butter and pulse until a coarse meal forms

Add eggs, wine and vanilla and pulse until a ball forms

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes

Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces then one at a time roll the dough out until 1/4 inch thick

Cut into strips, about 1/2 inch wide each

Now cut into pieces going the other way

Roll each piece of dough into a ball about the size of a hazelnut, then dredge in flour

Repeat this with all 4 pieces of dough. You'll end up rolling a lot of balls! Try to be patient!

In batches, fry the dough for 2-3 minutes, then drain on a paper towel-lined plate

After 2-3 minutes they should be lightly golden brown

Now…heat the honey, lemon juice and sugar over medium heat

Transfer the fried dough balls and hazelnuts to a large bowl

Pour the honey mixture on top

Stir until coated evenly, then allow it to soak in for a couple minutes

Scoop the balls into cupcake liners, top with sprinkles and dust with confectioners' sugar