Carnival pastries ‘chiacchiere’

Among the pastries of the Italian confectionery tradition we make a special note of the ‘chiacchiere’, a sweet pastry intimately connected to the festivities of the Carnival period. The shape of these pastries take that of a strip with a zig-zag edge, twisted inside out to form a knot. They are made with a simple dough of flour which is then cooked in hot oil or, for those who want something rather lighter and more digestible, in the oven. When cooked, they are sprinkled with icing sugar so as to make them even more appetizing and attractive to look at. If you are a feeling a bit self-indulgent, you can replace the icing sugar with melted chocolate which you add in thin strands to the crispy pastry. The end result will certainly be very appetizing, irresistible to both young and old. Find out with us how to make them!

Ingredients

  • Italian 00 flour 250 grams
  • sugar 100 grams
  • extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • oranges The zest of an orange
  • liqueur 100 millilitres Orange flavoured
  • eggs 2 units
  • salt A pinch of salt
  • oil Oil for frying, as much as required
  • icing sugar Icing sugar, to taste
Information
50 minutes Total time
15 minutes Active time
Serves 6 persons
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Preparation

Arrange the flour with a hole in the centre, and add: the sugar, a pinch of salt, olive oil, orange zest, eggs and liqueur. Work with your hands until the dough is soft but firm. Cover with a cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes. After this time, roll it out to a thickness of about ½ cm. Cut out the shapes you prefer with a pastry wheel: a diamond shapes for the Tuscan version, rectangles with a cut in the centre for the classic form. In this latter case you will have to make the rectangles, cut a slot in the centre with the pastry wheel and then fold one of the ends inside the slot before flattening out again. Fry the pastries in hot oil and drain on a paper towel. When they are cool, sprinkle with icing sugar.

Tips
The cooking of these carnival pastries must be done in oil of a constant temperature: to check the temperature, equip yourself with a thermometer or do the test with a toothpick: as it rests on the bottom of the pan, if you notice bubbles on it this means that the oil is hot enough.
Trivia
There are several variants of these carnival pastries: in the dough, for example, you can replace the grappa with other spirits such as rum, brandy or marsala. The tradition of making these pastries dates back to the sweet snacks fried in pork fat that in ancient Rome were only made during the Carnival period.

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