Italian scalili cookies

Emily Richards is well known for sharing recipes on Canadian Living Cooks, but she's also has multiple cookbooks published, the newest being Per La Famiglia: Memories and Recipes of Southern Italian Home Cooking. Most of the family recipes in the cookbook are traditional, with a few modern twists. And what's more family and traditional than cookies? These are traditionally only made at Christmas but you can make them any time of the year and dress them up with or without sprinkles.

You can make these ahead of time, freeze them before coating with honey, then warm up the honey and the cookies when ready to serve.

6 eggs
1½ tsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla or anise extract
½ tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
4-6 cups canola oil, for frying
1 cup honey
2 tbsp coloured sprinkles, optional

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, vanilla, baking powder and salt until smooth. Stir in 2 cups flour until a soft, but not sticky, dough forms. (You may need to add more flour.) Scrape dough onto a floured work surface and gently knead for about 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed.

Using a small amount of dough each time, roll into a long half-inch thin rope. Cut into 2-inch pieces. Snip the ends with scissors and continue with remaining dough.

In a deep fryer or a high sided saucepan, heat oil to 375°F. Carefully drop pieces a few at a time in oil and cook for about 3 minutes or until light golden and puffed. Remove to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining pieces.

In a large saucepan, heat half of the honey until warm and very liquid. Stir in half of the scallili until coated then using a slotted spoon remove to a large platter. Top with sprinkles, if desired. Repeat with remaining honey and scalili.

100 cookies