Ever since FOOD52 announced this contest I’ve had a play list in my head; Honey Don’t, Tupelo Honey, Money Honey, Taste Like Honey, Honey, Honey, Wild Honey Pie, I can’t help myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch). And being a huge Van Morrison fan I wanted to make something with Tupelo Honey, but my gosh the options were crazy I was thinking of a pecorino flat bread with honey comb, blue cheese flans with buckwheat honey, hot Tupelo honey & fried chicken, so many ideas.
I wanted to make something that brought out the best of honey so I broke it down the sweetness of honey is rich there’s something floral to it, and the smell of cooked honey is so intoxicating, but its also complicated and I wanted to bring all of that out. At first I thought of struffoli or taigelach- essentially the same thing an Italian version and Jewish one- Tiny fried dough balls soaked in honey syrup and liberally sprinkled with nonpareils (100s & 1000s). My grandma Mattie would make it for Rosh Hashanah.
But I never liked it as much as I felt I should've, the 100s and 1000s are too crackly for me, it was kind of one dimensional it was just sweet, plus I never really loved the little dough balls. But I do love other sort of dough balls- Gulab Juman, doughnuts and zeppole, and with that in mind I created this hodgepodge of flavors and textures—Sweet, butter, salty, floral, milky, soft , crunchy . They are decadent while hot, pillow-y and crunchy the honey dripping down your arm. My husband just kept shoving them in his mouth until I pulled away the bowl. I didn’t mind them at all cold, they were a little damp but still pretty good.
Also note there are no pistachios in my pictures, that's because I forgot I was making this and I ate them. —Aliwaks