Italian Holiday Cookies

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 5 min./batch + cooling


about 15 dozen

Updated: Jul. 27, 2023
Many of our holiday traditions center around the foods my mother made while I was growing up. These cookies, which we called "Strufoli", bring back wonderful memories. —Sue Seymour, Valatie, New York


  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup honey
  • Candy sprinkles


  1. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 350°. In a bowl, combine sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and salt. Add eggs and 2 cups flour; mix well. Turn onto a floured surface and knead in remaining flour (dough will be soft).
  2. With a floured knife or scissors, cut into 20 pieces. With hands, roll each piece into pencil shapes. Cut "pencils" into 1/2-in. pieces. Fry pieces, a few at a time, until golden brown, 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Place in a large bowl. Heat honey to boiling; pour over cookies and mix well. With a slotted spoon, spoon onto a serving platter and slowly mound into a tree shape if desired. Decorate with candy sprinkles. Cool completely.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • In addition to these "Strufoli", we have other Italian Christmas cookies, including pizzelle and holiday biscotti.
  • Consider making these unique Christmas cookies for an around-the-world theme.
  • Nutrition Facts

    1 cookie: 18 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 4mg cholesterol, 8mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.