Precipizi and a Holiday Blog Hop

Precipizi, an Italian Jewish Hanukkah treat
Precipizi, an Italian Jewish Hanukkah treat

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. Β 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!

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Precipizi (Italian Hanukkah Treats)
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
This traditional Italian Jewish Hanukkah dessert makes an impressive centerpiece on the holiday table.
Yield: Yield: 20 to 24 balls
  • 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)
  1. Mix together the eggs, flour, sugar, olive oil, and rum and lightly knead until you get a smooth, soft dough.
  2. Shape into small balls about the size of olives.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over high heat.
  4. Add the dough balls and fry until golden on all sides, working in batches if necessary. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. When the dough balls have all finished cooking, wipe the pan clean with a paper towel and add the honey.
  6. When the honey is hot, add the dough balls back into the pan and stir to coat.
  7. Pour onto a baking sheet and allow to cool.
  8. 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.
  9. To serve, arrange however you like and top with powdered sugar, if you wish.
Parve and Vegetarian

35 thoughts on “Precipizi and a Holiday Blog Hop

  1. Nandita

    I had never heard about this dish before catherine. It looks very tempting. Have a great christmas with your family and friends at NY. Merry christmas to you and your Family πŸ™‚

  2. lori

    Katherine, I wish you were in California. I’d invite you over tonight when I make latkes for a few friends. I’d ask you to bring these. They look divine. I’m excited about making your cinnamon bread cake for christmas morning. I hope you and your family have a warm and wonderful holiday. I’m so excited about working with you more in the New Year!
    All my best,

    • Katherine

      Lori you are the sweetest! I wish I was in California too. I have a lot of family out there and am contemplating a trip this summer… So excited to be working with you too!!!! Happy new year (I’m a little late on replies).

  3. Liz

    Katherine, you get the best of both worlds!!! And your precipizi look fantastic…love the sprinkle of powdered sugar πŸ™‚ Merry Christmas AND Happy Hanukkah, my friend! xo

  4. Giulietta | Alterkitchen

    Never heard about precipizi before… but I like them! It’s a fun name, too (precipices) πŸ˜€
    I sincerely wish you, your husband and your family a Merry Christmas!
    And today (and maybe tomorrow, too… I have a surprise planned) I’ll add my recipe to your Christmas blog hop! πŸ™‚

  5. kitchenriffs

    Boy, I think every culture has some form of fried dough. I love them all! Too much, actually -although tasty, they’re fattening little devils. I haven’t had Precipizi, but it’s close enough to other things I’ve had that I feel as if I’ve already tasted them! Nice recipe. Happy Holidays!

    • Katherine

      Haha I so agree – fried dough in any form is ok by me. Hope your holidays were wonderful and filled with great food and drink (I’m sure they were if you had anything to do with it!).

  6. easyfoodsmith

    Isn’t it great visiting home!? Thanks for introducing to this dish…they sound delicious. Their texture is very interesting. Thanks for being at my blog. All is fine at Delhi πŸ™‚

    • Katherine

      Visiting home is great indeed! I had such a nice trip. On my way back now… Thanks so much! Yes, the texture on these is great – soft on the inside and slightly crispy out.

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