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Struffoli (Italian Wine Cookies)

(by Catherine Gigante-Brown)

1/2 c. sugar

6 c. flour 4 t. baking powder 2 pinches of salt 2 c. muscatel wine 3/4 c. oil (canola or olive, for cookie dough)

1 c. canola oil (for frying) 20 oz. honey or more to taste, slightly warmed

Combine sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

Heat wine and oil in a medium saucepan.

Boil for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add to dry mixture and work with a wooden spoon until combined. Chill dough, covered with plastic wrap, overnight in the refrigerator.

Roll dough into small balls about the size of a walnut.

While the dough pieces are being formed, heat about one cup of oil to 375 F. in a frying pan or deep fryer.

Fry dough pieces until dark golden brown and cooked through, careful not to overcrowd the pan.

(If two are doing this, one can roll and one can fry, just as my mom and Nonna used to do.)

Make sure the cookies are browned evenly on all sides, turning with a fork or a slotted spoon. Place fried cookies in a large bowl lined with paper towels to drain. When all the cookies are fried, put them into a large plastic container.

Heat honey in a saucepan over medium heat for at least 5 minutes until it’s thinned out, and warm but not boiling.

Pour heated honey over the fried cookies while they are still warm, stirring gently to cover evenly. Place lid on the container and flip it upside down. Repeat flipping the container every 30 minutes or so to ensure that the cookies are well coated and soak up most of the honey.

Store cookies in a sealed plastic container. They will stay fresh for at least a week.

Makes approximately 4 dozen, depending on size.

(Read Sweet As Honey, the story that accompanies this recipe.)

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