40 min

    This is a traditional Italian dish, which is served at Easter and Christmas. Small balls of honey-enriched dough is deep fried and then scattered with pine nuts and sugar sprinkles. They are best served warm.

    76 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 375g plain flour, divided
    • 4 eggs, beaten
    • 50g unsalted butter
    • 100g caster sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
    • 525g honey
    • 100g pine nuts
    • 65g coloured sugar sprinkles

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:10min  ›  Ready in:40min 

    1. Melt the butter over low heat. Mix together in a large bowl, 300g flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and salt. Make a well in the middle. Drop into it the eggs and the melted butter. Mix with a wooden spoon and then with the hands until dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Add remaining flour as needed. Knead dough on floured surface until it isn't sticky anymore.
    2. Break off pieces of dough and roll into ropes about the size of a pencil. Cut into pieces 5mm long. Roll these pieces into little balls and set aside.
    3. In deep frying pan, heat oil about 5cm deep. Fry balls until golden brown. Drain on kitchen towels.
    4. In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring honey to the boil. Let honey boil gently for about 3 minutes before adding little dough balls, stirring gently with wooden spoon until they are well-coated.
    5. Remove balls from honey with a slotted spoon and place in a deep dish or mound them on a serving plate. Sprinkle surface evenly with pine nuts and sugar sprinkles. Cool.

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    Reviews in English (47)


    Made these for easter, the whole family enjoyed them.  -  24 May 2014


    Excellent recipe. Just like my Grandma made. I added a teaspoon of cinnamon to the honey and toasted the pignoli (pine nuts) before sprinkling on top. I've also made them in individual servings, mounding a heaping spoonful into foiled muffin cups. Makes about 32 smaller servings. Great for giving a few small portions to the lovely elderly Italian couple next door!  -  20 Dec 2005  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I tried to copy my Grandmother's recipe. This was close, but not quite right. I was told that I should have cooked the honey longer to give it a darker color. It was not sticky enough, so the presentation was a flop.... literally. Very messy, too much work, not worth it. For those who attempt this, here's the best tip: When you roll the dough into "ropes", simply cut the ropes into the sizes you want them to be. Once you fry them, they will plump up into ball shapes. I wasted so much time shaping the dough into balls before frying them... a step that was completely unnecessary unless you have so much time on your hands that you don't know what else to do with your day.  -  16 Apr 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)