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The Hunt for Fried Struffoli...

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Well this year I'm cheating. An active ("devious" is a more appropriate word choice if I'm really going to be honest) three year old has made baking my usual10 varietties of Christmas cookies "challenging" enough, and the idea of frying in hot oil is a bit daunting...so I'm actually buying my struffoli this year. The majority of bakeries here bake the struffoli unfortunately, and the resulting flavor is lacking and the texture too light. My favorite bakery, handsdown, D'Aquila on Francis Lewis Blvd, offered in addition to their trays and trays of baked, a fried version by request this weekend. While it was certainly better than the baked, no one liked the addition of orange flavor from the candied orange peel they added to the honey mixture. I loved it, but the struffoli is more for my old-school relatives than myself.

So, the question remains...any favorite bakeries for my beloved fried honey ballls?

Grazie Mille,
lsa

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  1. Damascus is doing fried honey balls -- I had no idea that there was an Italian name/version too. I think of them as a Cypriot / Greek treat (Loukoumades). Anyway, we were thrilled to find them there this weekend, as my husband looks forward to them when we go to cyprus. They tasted pretty much as we remember though not dripping in honey as they are in Cyprus.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Nehna

      Walk into a Jewish/Kosher bakery and ask for "tayg-lach" (sounds like "lock")...yet another variation on the theme.

    2. If you are a struffoli (pronounced stru-fol-a!) purist - the place to go is St. Anthony's Bakery on 69th street and Fort Hamilton Parkway in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. They've been baking the best bread, cookies, and struffoli's for years. It's a no frills, family run, authentic Brooklyn bakery. Make sure to pick-up some 7-layer cookies too.

      1. COURT STREET PASTRY has Struffoli in large and small sizes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Fleur

          Yes! And they are GREAT!

        2. yes...I am actually familiar with them but, alas they are baked and not fried....I am looking for the deep fried ones- most bakeries today bake them :(

          Some bakeries will fry them for you as per a special order, but most don't like to.

          Thanks,
          lisa

          3 Replies
          1. re: ZenFoodist

            For those who don't know, the fried struffoli are tastier and much more dense with a harder exterior. Much, much tastier overall. I'll have to investigate a bit before replying.

            1. re: Cheese Boy

              I should have writted FRIED in caps in my query.....Oh Well.

              1. re: ZenFoodist

                I know I'm a little late in the game here with this, but for future reference Circo Pastry Shop in Bushwick makes the fried version, as does Palermo Pastry Shop in Old Mill Basin and V&J Pork store in Monroe, NY for those who live in Orange County. I'm not a struffoli expert, but these places have good stuff otherwise and I've enjoyed the struffoli from there. Palermo's also has mini packages of the struffoli, which was all I got this year as my family cut back and only got 4 lbs of stuff for Xmas.

                -----
                Circo's Pastry Shop
                312 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237

                Palermo Pastry Shop
                5517 Avenue N, Brooklyn, NY 11234

          2. We have been making struffoli in our family for years (generations--our anglicized name for them is "strouffles"). It is a huge project, sticky dough, flour everywhere, lots of time, then the frying (that's the fun part). When kids are a bit older, rolling out the "snakes" of dough and cutting them up is a good family project.
            Unfortunately I have NEVER come across struffoli in any bakery that even come close. For one thing, they are giant..ours are little pellets of brown, crisp, sherry-orange-honey goodness, about 1/2 inch in diameter. Some things can't be bought!

            5 Replies
            1. re: kenito799

              The ones at the bakery in our hometown in Sicily are pretty deadly, I tell you that :)

              1. re: kenito799

                The Struffoli at COURT STREET PASTRY are small.

                1. re: Fleur

                  I saw them. Ours are smaller and browner :)

                2. re: kenito799

                  Someone brought a platter of struffoli to a party last week that were very small, and pretty tasty, although bereft of sherry! In retrospect, they were crunchy and might have been fried, but I can't guarantee it. The platter was purchased at Palumbo's, a new Belmont bakery (off-shoot of the Egidio family wars, AFAIK)on 187th and Arthur (there's another branch - which preceded it - in Riverdale).

                  1. re: Striver

                    Striver, I didn't know that information was common knowledge.

                    Supposedly, Palombo, aka "uwe professore" (taught at Fordham?), is from Esperia (near Rome) http://www.travelpost.com/EU/Italy/La... and his ex-wife owns Egidio's. Friendly competition you say? That might have originally been his and wound up losing it after his separation. He opens up some really nice bakeries though.

                    His other locations: http://www.yellowpages.com/sp/yellowp...

                3. For what it's worth, fellow 'Hounds, in the end I caved in and now at 1:55 am early on the morn of Christmas Eve a huge platter of golden brown struffoli rests before me. I started at 11:30 on a whim after baking five dozen chocolate chips, put a little Etta James Christmas music on, thought lovingly of my dear Grandma Rose who made these each year she was alive, and thoroughly enjoyed my time. My three year old son remained asleep, my husband helped roll and cut while telling me how crazy I was to start "yet another project" when I was actually ahead of the game, and overall I felt really happy I had done the homemade thing. AS I type, my honey (with a touch of cinnamon) is getting warmed up, my pignoli nuts are toasting, and I will be assembling a huge tree out of my beautiful Stuffoli any second. Yum.

                  Thanks for all the great tips and Blessed Holidays,
                  lisa

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ZenFoodist

                    congratulations! I am munching some here. We flavor the honey with orange peel. Cinnamon sounds interesting!

                    1. re: kenito799

                      We do orange peel as well, but my mother in law doesn't like it, so solicitous daughter in law that I am....No Orange peel!

                      Sometimes even pieces of candied orange peel....

                      All Good Things,
                      lisa

                  2. I have trying to locate a bakery in northern New Jersey that carries the fried version of struffoli. The bakeries in Passaic county that I haved tried do not make the fried version. I thought that I found a bakery in Essex county. I placed my order over the phone. When I arrived to pick up order, they had no record of my name or order and refused to sell me the one platter of struffoli they had reserved. If I can't locate a bakery that makes the fried version, I have decided to try making them myself. I remember when the struffoli platters used to include candied cherries, cinnamon sicks, almonds, citron, and small hazel nuts. It is impossible to find these platters today! I am interested in trying variations of any receipes.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: topkat

                      I will post our recipe on the Home Cooking board later today (12/26)!

                      1. re: kenito799

                        recipe here:
                        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/346919

                        1. re: kenito799

                          Thank you!

                      2. I had posted my recipe for struffoli and wound up back at this post. For the record, I think that making struffoli is no big deal. It really doesn't take any more time than any other kind of cookie you would make. I was overwhelmed by the number of ingredients in the other recipe for struffoli that was posted on the Home Cooking site. Maybe it wouldn't take that long if you used my, more simple recipe :-).

                        Two of my father's sisters always had a battle over the struffoli. Aunt Rose (the older sister) would take a piece of Aunt Terese's struffoli and munch it meditatively. Then she would say, "These are very good, Therese." She would pause for effect, and then add, "What did you fry them in?" When Aunt Terese would answer, "Vegetable oil," Aunt Rose would nod knowingly and say, "They're good, Terese, but they're not authentic." Aunt Rose considered Crisco to be the authentic shortning for struffoli (which, since they were of Sicilian ancestry, they also called pignolati).

                        My father carried on the tradition of making Casadetti. Now, talk about labor intensive! I only make these about every third year. Many Sicilians don't know what they are, and surprisingly, they were very regional in Sicily itself -- a bakery in one town would have them (western Sicily) and a bakery in another town would have no idea what you were talking about. A friend of mine described them as Cannoli ravioli. Essentially, they are made using very short pastry dough (made with lard) which is rolled out and filled with canoli cream, closed like a ravioli and deep fried. They are then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Unbelievably delicious and sinfully rich. Believe me, struffoli are a cinch!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: roxlet

                          our recipe makes about 4 times as many...maybe that's why it seems like such a big project! As for the two recipes, sounds like they need to be tasted side by side... :)

                        2. kenito and others . . .
                          have you come across a variation called "trudilli" in your NYC bakery travels?
                          made with RED WINE in the dough, walnut-sized and rolled on cut glass for texture, FRIED, and dunked/drizzled with hot honey
                          I think it's from somewhere in Calabria originally.

                          1. I do know that the BEST fried Struffoli in the Bronx would be at Menna's Quality Meat's and Deli in Throggs neck section. Brought some last year on a whim and they were the best I've had. I'm going back this week to see if they made some for Thanksgiving.Try em!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: dee766

                              Struffoli at Menna's? Wow! That's news. For any one interested, Menna's makes some very good fresh sausage. A favorite of mine is their broccoli rabe sausage and their sausage with peppers and onions. Baking or grilling is best for these of course. In the summer months, Menna's will make you lamb sausage upon request in the small or large casing. All reasonable prices, family owned and operated. I don't go there often, but it's worthy of a visit for sausage (and chicken cutlets) once in a while.

                              1. re: Cheese Boy

                                Ok the best Struffoli in the area as at Artuso Bakery on 187th Street in the Bronx's Little Italy near Arthur Ave...simply the best

                                -----
                                Little Italy
                                585 E 187th St, Bronx, NY 10458