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Struffoli alla Partenopea (Neapolitan donut-shaped fritters, without yeast; flavored with brandy, lemon and orange zest)
Originated from: Naples, Campania, Italy
Occasion: Christmas, Carnival and other holidays
Contributed by: Anna-Maria Benvenuto

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For dough
350 grams (about 12 1/3 ounces) flour
90 grams (about about 3 ounces) sugar
100 grams (about 3 1/2 ounces) candied citron, cut into very small pieces
40 grams (about 1 1/3 ounces) of candied orange peels, cut into very small pieces
a little of finely grated lemon zest
a little of finely grated orange zest
20 grams (about 2/3 of ounce) of butter (cut into small pieces)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon brandy
a touch of milk (if needed)
a pinch of salt

Vegetable oil for frying

For decoration
170 grams (about 6 ounces) honey
40 grams (about 1 1/3 ounces) colored sprinkles
Icing sugar (optional)


Mix the flour with the sugar, the grated orange and lemon zest, candied orange peels, candied citron and a pinch of salt.

Mix with eggs, butter and a little milk if necessary (to make a soft dough).

Knead the dough with your hands, form a ball; place in a container.

Cover and let the dough rest for an hour or so.

Make donut-shaped fritters.

Fry a few fritters at a time in vegetable oil until golden brown.

Remove and drain.

Heat up the honey.

Drizzle the tops of the fritters with honey.

Decorate with colored sprinkles or icing sugar.


Mrs. Anna-Maria Benvenuto has collected hundreds of recipes from relatives, friends and neighbors over the years. She recorded the recipes in Italian in numerous notebooks, often naming the recipe after the person who gave it to her. She also copied recipes from Italian cookbooks, newspapers and magazines.The recipe in this entry was found in an Italian cookbook published in the early 1970s. Being an avid baker Mrs. Benvenuto tried out many of the recipes herself. Because of her talent and expertise, she did not feel the need to write detailed instructions as she knew how to make the recipes without them. However, when asked by this website's archivist (Mary Melfi) for details, she quickly volunteered the information. Nonetheless, as with most first generation Italian-Canadian handwritten recipes, it is understood that whoever attempts to duplicate them should have some knowledge of what they are doing (Easier said than done).... While Mrs. Benvenuto was born in the Veneto region (in 1938) and has a natural fondness for recipes that come from this area, she found that as soon as she immigrated to Montreal, Quebec in 1952 she developed an instant appreciation for all foods from her homeland.... Photo and English translation of original Italian text: Mary Melfi.

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