These small balls of fried cookie dough are a special treat for many Italian families during the Christmas and Easter holidays. While the cookies are still warm, you can pile them in the shape of a cone or a wreath to make a holiday dessert table centerpiece.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 35 minutesTotal: 35 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 8


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1⁄2 cups honey
  • 1⁄4 cup confectioners' sugar


  • Set electric fryer for 375°F. Melt butter in fryer; set aside.
  • Mix 2 1⁄2 cups flour, granulated sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Make a well in center and add eggs, lemon zest and melted butter.
  • Stir with a large spoon until dough leaves sides of bowl. Knead in rest of flour 1⁄2 cup at a time, until dough is no longer sticky.
  • Break off sections of dough; roll into pencil-sized logs. Cut into 1⁄4-inch-long pieces; set aside. Roll pieces into balls; fry until golden.
  • Bring honey to a boil in a large saucepan; boil gently 3 minutes. Add fried dough; stir until well coated. Remove balls from honey with a slotted spoon. Place on a platter; sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.