Growing up in an Italian-American neighborhood in Upstate, New York, I saw homemade or store-bought Struffoli grace many holiday tables. It’s nothing really fancy in terms of ingredients. Struffoli consists of simple little balls of dough, fried and glazed in honey. They are typically piled onto a decorative plate to resemble a Christmas tree and decorated with colorful sprinkles. Plates of Struffoli are wrapped in cellophane and fastened at the top with a bow and given as gifts.
Sticky and fun to pick on, Struffoli made their home alongside trays of cookies, cannoli and chocolate “pusties.” They are a bit of nostalgia that brings back memories of visiting with aunts, uncles and cousins during the holiday season. This simple sweet is synonymous with reconnecting with family at Christmas.