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!
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.