Honey-Dipped Christmas Balls

Though called something different in every family, these are classic Italian Christmas pastries. Of course, they’re a delicious treat all year round.

Serves: 10Hands-on: 45 minutesTotal: 1 hour 45 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 10


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1⁄8 tsp. iodized salt
  • 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1⁄2 cup port wine
  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 cups honey


  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together the sugar and shortening, then add the eggs and wine. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and pour in the egg mixture. Mix by hand or in a mixer with a dough hook at medium speed until the dough forms into a ball. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a clean towel and allow to rest for at least 1 hour (no longer than 3 hours) in the refrigerator.
  • Pull off pieces of the dough in portions equal to about 2 tablespoons. Roll into little balls using your hands. Continue until all the dough is used up.
  • Heat the oil to medium-high temperature in a deep, heavy-bottomed skillet. Fry each ball until light golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  • Heat the honey to medium temperature in a saucepan. Dip each ball in the honey, carefully shaking off excess, and place on wax paper. Serve slightly warm, but be sure honey has cooled enough not to burn the mouth.