Struffoli aka Honey Balls, are an Italian dessert consisting of little bits of dough deep fried in oil and coated in honey. During Christmas time, the bakery windows all over my Brooklyn neighborhood are filled with gorgeous, glistening pyramid shaped mounds of dough. It’s a sign of the season.
I became a mama 2 years ago and since then, I’ve been obsessed with creating little family traditions for my family of three (soon to be four!). I’m a sucker for traditon, especially around holiday time and especially when it involves food. Who doesn’t get excited about the holidays because of a certain food made only once a year? Family recipes and the holidays go hand-in-hand. They connects us to the past in a way that is unique and special. It makes us feel warm and loved inside.
Many Italian families have a Struffoli recipe but not many of them are willing to share their well-guarded passed down secrets. As far as I know, no one in my family has a passed down Struffoli recipe (or at least not one their willing to share-HA!). So sad! And Nonna Isabella’s recipes never seemed to make it to paper. Equally sad! I hear stories from my mom about what a great cook she was and what fun it was to be by her side as she rolled handmade pasta. I know those are moments she cherishes and those moments are exactly what I want my own children and grandchildren (say, what?!) to have with me.
I create all of my recipes with family in mind. Family is the reason I cook and the reason I started this blog. And while this recipe is not a 100 year old heritage recipe from Nonna, it is all mine and was created with love (and recorded!) in the hopes that one day my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will tell stories about Grandma Christina and her Christmas Strufolli as they make it with their own families. I love the idea that through my recipes, no matter what, I will be with them every Christmas. What’s better than that?
Here’s to all of your family traditions, new and old, may they live on forever.
The Salerno Family