There are those who just don't "get" struffoli; they wonder what all the fuss is about. After all, it's little pieces of fried dough tossed in a honey concoction. I confess I've been lazy for quite a few years, buying struffoli in my favorite Italian bakery with the excuse that theirs is healthier because it's baked, not fried. The truth is that theirs is dry and at $15 for a small plate, it's highway robbery. After watching the episode where Giada and her aunt make struffoli, I decided to resurrect this Christmas tradition. I also decided to give Giada's version a try. Giada's recipe is here. The basic difference between her recipe and the one I've used forever is that she uses lemon and orange zest. Let me say upfront that I gave her method of rolling out the dough, cutting it into 1/2 inch strip, then rolling the balls a try, but immediately returned to the tried and true method of rolling out a rope of dough, cutting it with a pizza cutter, and then rolling. Why make more work; this is somewhat tedious to begin with. As you can see from the pictorial above, it's not rocket science. Making the dough is very easy. Making and frying the struffoli just requires a bit of patience.
I'm submitting this to I Heart Cooking Clubs. Be sure to head over to check out what other sweet treats by Giada were made.
The addition of the lemon and orange zest elevates the family favorite; props to you, Giada. I made just one batch of these because I find them positively addictive. I will probably resume the annual tradition of making struffoli based on the success of these.