Chiacchiere are a typical Carnival sweet and are spread all over Italy with different names, from frappe to crostoli, passing by bugie. They are fragrant pastries, usually served sprinkled with powdered sugar. In this version they are fried, according to the original recipe.
They are usually prepared in the days before Carnival and they are often served together with castagnole.
Fried chiacchiere are light and crispy, with a delicate and not at all intrusive taste.
Their special dough makes this sweet very crumbly. After having fried them and let them dry for a moment, it is a must to sprinkle them with powdered sugar for an even more delicious final touch.
They are rectangular in shape and then depending on family customs you can make central cuts, or turn them around like a bow. In February, pastry shops are filled with chiacchiere and their unmistakable scent intoxicates the air.
They bring a lot of joy and are much appreciated by young and old alike.
Their lightness, however, makes you fall into temptation, one chatter is never enough!
- 1 1/2 cups “00” or unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cold lard or unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons sweet Marsala wine
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Powdered sugar for topping
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Dice the lard or butter and cut into the flour mixture using a dough blender, two forks, or your fingers until pieces are no larger than a pea.
In a small bowl, add egg and marsala. Beat together until incorporated.
Add to the dry ingredients and mix together until dough forms.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface.
Knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.
Once chilled, divide the dough into four equal pieces. Place one piece on floured work surface and cover the rest.
Roll the dough into a rectangle as thinly as possible, flouring as needed to prevent sticking.
Use a fluted pastry wheel to cut and detail the edges of the rectangle.
Cut the dough into 2 x 4 inch strips. If desired, cut 1-2 lines inside each strip.
Place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment and cover while you repeat with remaining pieces.
Add about 3 inches of oil to a large, deep pan.
Place over medium heat to get the oil to 350 degrees F. Once heated, add a few chiacchiere, being careful not to overcrowd.
Fry until golden, about 45 seconds, then turn to fry the other side.
Place on towel lined plates.
Repeat with remaining chiacchiere.
Serve with powdered sugar.