Struffoli and Crispelle

My son Joseph and his girlfriend Alison came to the house for Thanksgiving dinner. Although it was a small gathering of four, for the first time in a few years my house was filled with laughter.

My boys Joseph and Andrew inherited my sense of humor, which can be described as “off the wall”. My cousins Jodi and Steve have the same sense of humor, and when we’re together it gets pretty loud.

As we ate dinner, we began to exchange funny stories; before I knew it, three hours had passed!

The last bit of banter between Joseph and me centered around a Struffoli recipe. Struffoli are little pillows of fried dough drizzled with honey and confetti (nonpareils) and sometimes dried fruit.

Nana used to make Struffoli and Crispelle (aka bow ties) at Christmas-time, and I used to help her. She would divide the Crispelle in half and drizzle half with with honey and confetti and the other half with powdered sugar.

Joseph had been nagging me for the recipe for days.Wednesday night I emailed the recipe to him, but neglected to give him complete measurements. I wrote 1/4 baking soda and 1/2 vanilla. I neglected to write teaspoon.

As Joseph was making the recipe, he assumed I meant cup; needless to say his Struffoli turned out horrible! Sorry Joe!
I told him he should have called me; he figured since it was 11:00 pm I would be asleep and he didn’t want to wake me. How thoughtful!

To avoid any more confusion, here is the Struffoli and Crispelle recipe:
1 cup flour
1 egg
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Oil for frying
Powdered sugar for dusting
Candy Confetti (nonpareil)

Combine flour, egg, baking soda and vanilla together in a bowl and mix well.
Turn out onto a floured board and knead well.
Roll the dough into 1/2″ diameter ropes
Cut into smaller “pillows”  (about 1/2″)

Heat oil in a pot
Drop the Struffoli into oil and fry until golden brown
Remove from oil and let drain
Dust with either powdered sugar
Warm the honey and drizzle over Struffoli and sprinkle with nonpareils

For Crispelle; simply roll the dough flat and cut into 1/2″ wide strips
Then fry and dust with either powdered sugar or the warm honey.

** You can also grate the zest of a lemon or orange into the mixture to change the flavor.
*** Sometimes Nana added Sambuka instead of vanilla