Can you believe that we’re midway through Hanukkah and that tomorrow is Christmas Eve? It’s wonderful to be home in New York celebrating the holidays with friends and family. My husband and I are fortunate enough to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas, and so get the best of both traditions. In honor of my Italian heritage, this year I did a bit of research into how Italian Jews celebrate Hanukkah for an article in the Jew and the Carrot (check it out here). And so I was introduced to Hanukkah Precipizi, which is similar to the struffoli that is also popular around Christmas time in Italy. Hanukkah is all about fried food, a celebration of oil in all its glory, and these certainly fit the bill.
Precipizi are fried balls of lightly sweetened, olive oil-inflected dough that are then rolled in warm honey. The honey hardens as it cools, creating a crispy, sticky outside and tender, donut-like middle. Yes, they are as good as they sound. Although most precipizi recipes call for cutting them into rectangles, I thought they were prettiest as is and so did not go that extra step. While these are traditional Italian Jewish Hanukkah fare, this festive dessert would feel just as home at the Christmas table.
For this week’s blog hop I want to see your favorite Hanukkah and Christmas recipes! Although our menu planning and shopping should be done at this point, I know I can always use some last minute inspiration and holiday cheer!
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1¾ cup flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons rum or other clear spirit
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup honey
- Powdered sugar (optional)
- Mix together the eggs, flour, sugar, olive oil, and rum and lightly knead until you get a smooth, soft dough.
- Shape into small balls about the size of olives.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over high heat.
- Add the dough balls and fry until golden on all sides, working in batches if necessary. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- When the dough balls have all finished cooking, wipe the pan clean with a paper towel and add the honey.
- When the honey is hot, add the dough balls back into the pan and stir to coat.
- Pour onto a baking sheet and allow to cool.
- Here most instructions say to put them close together and cut them into rectangles, but I prefer to keep them as is. As they cool the honey will harden slightly.
- To serve, arrange however you like and top with powdered sugar, if you wish.