Our Family Traditions During The Holidays- Josie

I have to start off this blog by warning everyone that once you start, you can’t stop…eating that is! Pignolata (bin you la ta), has been in my family from generation to generation, we can always guarantee this sweet Sicilian treat will be on the table for all the holiday seasons and hopefully will be the new dish on your dessert table this time around!

This recipe goes back to my great grandmother who got it from her mother who lived in a little town in Sicily! My grandmother has been making this dessert for as long as I can remember, and just recently taught me how to make it and I couldn’t be more pleased to learn how easy it really is. I also was embarrassed to find out my 80 year old grandmother’s wrists are as strong as a 25 year old body builder! She could kick some ass for sure with those puppies! With that said kneading the dough requires some arm work so be aware!  

There is a lot of love in all the desserts my grandmother makes, you can almost taste it! This is definitely a crowd pleaser with how light and sweet it is which is always a good thing! Who doesn’t love fried dough and chocolate? 


Follow the pictures above for the first 4 steps in each part of the creation process to make sure everything is going as planned, it’ll be a great help for first timers! The directions are easy to follow but I do have to say, pay attention to the notes and detail, it’ll only make them better! The nice thing about this recipe is you can customize it to however you would like it to be! Instead of adding crushed almonds and chocolate, you could add powdered sugar, sprinkles, mixed nuts, melted chocolate, Nutella, or just eat them plain by themselves! You can also serve them in little cupcake holders, so they are easier to grab and eat!  Great to bring to parties or as a gift!  What better way to show someone you care than some guilt filled calories! 

Hope you enjoy the heck out of these as much as my family and I do! Bring the taste of Sicily into your home this holiday, you won’t regret it!

Happy holidays to all, God bless and mangiare! (eat!)

Serves 8
A delciously sweet honey treat
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For the dough
  1. 2 eggs
  2. 1 cup of flour
  3. For the frying: any type of oil
To coat them
  1. 1/2 cup any type of honey
  2. 1/2 tsp. sugar
  3. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  4. Slivered almonds
  5. Hershey's chocolate bars broken
For the dough
  1. Take an medium bowl and add in the two eggs and one cup of flour. Begin to mix with a fork until blended and soft.
  2. Sprinkle counter with flour then place your prepared dough on your counter top and knead the dough till dough is soft and flexible.
  3. Divide the dough into 6 pieces.Then begin to roll them on the counter top, into log/snake like shapes ( they should be about 1 inch thick)
  4. After they are rolled into the snake like shapes, to cut them into half inch sizes
  5. Let them rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Place a skillet on the stove, add about 1/2 to 1 inch of oil, then place the Pignolata into the cold oil. Turn heat on medium/low.
  7. Wait until puffed up (make sure to watch them) Think popcorn
  8. Take the nuggets shaped dough and put on paper towel to dry and make sure to turn off oil for it to completely cool and repeat!
  9. Make sure the oil is cold when you cook them or else they will be hard!
  10. Let them dry for about 5 minutes.
  11. In a medium saucepan, heat the honey and sugar over high heat until it comes to a roiling boil.
  12. Reduce heat to low and drop the pignolata pieces into the pot and stir it so all the dough gets coated with honey! Scoop the honey covered pieces out of the pot, wait until they cool down and put almonds, cinnamon and chocolate or whatever desired on top to finish it all off!
  1. The secret is cold oil! The oil has to be cold or you will create dough croutons!
  2. They'd start to puff within minutes as they are to the size in the picture shown in the blog above!
Adapted from Sicilian tradition
Adapted from Sicilian tradition
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