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Pignolata-Strufloi - Pine-Nut Clusters

Published January 18, 2008        by Nicole

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups peanut oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tbs. pine nuts
  • 1 tbs. colored candied confetti
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Place 1 cup of flour on board; break in eggs; add salt; knead together gently. Gradually add enough flour to make medium soft, easily molded dough. Texture becomes soft with kneading. When very smooth, cut in half.

Roll out dough in circular piece about ¼ inches thick on lightly floured board. Cut into strips about ¼ inches wide. Mold each strip gently to resemble a small rope about ¼ inches. Each bit of dough resembles a grape or small marble. Distribute on lightly floured board to prevent sticking.

Heat oil in deep saucepan. When very hot, gradually add small pieces (about 6 tablespoons at a time), stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Brown lightly for 1 or 2 minutes; remove with perforated spoon. Drain on absorbent paper.

Blend sugar and honey in a deep skillet; stir constantly. Heat about 5 minutes over low flame. When very smooth, add all browned pieces, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. When covered with the honey mixture, remove quickly; place on 2 large platters. Mold with spoon into desired forms (as bunches of grapes or small clusters). Top each form with pine nuts; sprinkle with colored confetti. Allow your gourmet cookies to cool.

Serve by breaking off individual pieces with cake fork. Pignolata-strufloi keeps fresh for 2 weeks when placed in a cake box. Serves 8 to 10.