Strufoli or otherwise known as, Italian Honey Balls, were a tradition in my Italian community growing up. I have made this traditional recipe vegan by replacing a few ingredients like honey with agave nectar, and making this family recipe my own as well. I am happy to share this with you all. It was also very nostalgic to taste these vegan "honey" balls after all these years, and for it to taste so much like what I grew up enjoying as a child.
What you will need:
3 cups all-purpose flour (reserve 1/2 cup and set aside for use later)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pure lemon extract
6 tsp Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 8 tbsp water (makes 4 "eggs")
1/4 cup buttery spread, melted
2 cups fry oil
1 1/2 cups agave nectar (dark and thick - not light)
1/4 cup round dot sprinkles
What you will need to do:
Take the first 5 ingredients, which will be your dry and extract, and mix in a large bowl. Then add in your egg-replacer and melted buttery spread. Mix and knead until doughy. Take some flour from your 1/2 cup reserve to add in (and flour your hands) until the dough is no longer sticky and it is easy to work with. I did this all in my large bowl and used that as my kneading surface. Then take small pieces of the dough and roll into strips like you see in the picture. Then cut off pieces and roll those pieces into small balls. As you see in the photo, I was using floured paper plates to keep my strips on, so that I can place the dough balls in the floured bowl. Then, in a large pot or fryer, carefully heat your fry oil on medium heat. Fry your dough balls until they are golden, then remove with a slotted spoon. Place these balls on a baking sheet lined with paper towel to catch the excess oil. Then heat your agave nectar in a saucepan until it begins to boil. Add balls into the agave and give it a turn, just until balls are covered with it. Then with a slotted spoon, remove and let cool a minute on a baking sheet. Once slightly cool, sprinkle and toss with round sprinkles.
I added my sprinkles too soon and the colors ran a little on my "honey" balls (showcasing the importance of letting them cool slightly). You can eat these fresh or store in a container and enjoy later. Either way, they taste great! Enjoy!