Italian Honey Clusters

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon aniseed, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup 2% milk
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Nonpareils, optional

Directions

  • Line 24 muffin cups with paper or foil liners. In a large bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, anise seed and salt. Stir in eggs and milk. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Shape into a disk; wrap in plastic. Let stand 1 hour.
  • Divide dough into six portions. Roll each portion into 1/2-in.-thick ropes; cut crosswise into 1/2-in. pieces. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 350°. Fry pieces, a few at a time, for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Place dough pieces in a large heatproof bowl and keep warm in a 200° oven.
  • In a large heavy saucepan, combine honey and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil 1 minute. Immediately remove from heat and drizzle over dough pieces. Stir to coat. Immediately spoon into prepared cups. Sprinkle with pine nuts and, if desired, nonpareils.

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