Pignolata is traditionally served during the Italian Christmas Holiday or Easter Holiday, but these delicious treats are so good, that they're worth making anytime of the year.
Pignolata by Mangia Bedda
Makes 12 servings
For the pignolata
12 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups semolina flour
½ cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
4 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup grappa (rum or brandy may also be used)
1 cup honey
Vegetable oil for frying
Colored sprinkles for serving
Pignolata (ph Zeppieri Bakery)
Making the dough:
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, semolina, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, vegetable oil and Grappa.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.
Stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Scrape the mixture onto a floured surface and knead lightly until a dough is formed. If sticky, add a bit more flour.
Divide the mixture into 4 pieces. One piece at a time, roll the dough into a long rope about 1/2 inch thick.
Cut into 1 inch pieces, roll in the palm of your hands to form a ball. Place onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Continue with the remaining dough.
Frying the dough:
Pour about 1 inch of oil in a shallow frying pot and heat on medium-high heat. (Do not fill the pan more than half way with oil).
Test to verify if the oil is hot enough by dropping 1 piece of pignolata into the oil. It must be bubbling vigorously.
Using a slotted spoon or spider, carefully drop pieces of pignolata into the hot oil in one even layer. Do not overcrowd the pan.
Cook about 2 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel covered baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pignolata balls.
In a small sauce pan, gently heat the honey until liquefied. Transfer the pignolata to a large bowl and pour in the warmed honey. Stir until all pieces are coated with honey.
Place pignolata on a serving platter in a Christmas tree shape and evenly cover with sprinkles before serving.
Pignolata (ph Mangia Bedda)
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