Chiacchiere are crispy and delicate fried pastries typical of the Carnival period in Italy and are called by different names according to the regions of origin (cenci, frappe, rosoni, etc.)
The recipe, therefore, can have some regional variations, but its ingredients are always the same: eggs, flour, butter and liqueur (wine or Marsala or grappa!). Chiacchiere, as per the original recipe can be fried (as in this case) or, if you want them lighter, can be also baked.
Every bite of chiacchiere is magical and with them it is instantly Carnival.
4 cups (500gr) unbleached all-purpose flour or “00”
1/4 cup (50gr) sugar 1/4 cup (50gr) unsalted butter
1/2 glass white wine
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 egg yolk + 1 egg
1 pinch of salt
1 tablespoon baking powder (or 1 Lievito Pane Angeli)
Vegetable oil or Crisco for frying
Icing sugar for dusting
1 rolling pin or pasta roller
fluted pastry cutter
1. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, vanilla, and baking powder.
2. Incorporate the eggs inside and start beating lightly with a fork to collect as much flour as possible. As the flour has absorbed the eggs, add the butter (melted), the white wine, and the salt.
3. Create a ball and work it until it is homogeneous.
4. Wrap it up with some cellophane and put it aside, at room temperature, for at least thirty minutes.
5. Make a small piece from the dough and with a rolling pin or the rolling pasta, roll out a thin, almost transparent sheet. If you are using the rolling pasta continue to reduce the width of the rollers as you pass the dough through each setting, only once, up until you reach the desired thinness (n.5 for the KitchenAid rolling pasta).
6. With a fluted pastry cutter cut the dough into rectangles.
7. Cut two slits down the middle of the rectangles (this will help the dough to puff up nicely).
8. Fill a heavy-bottomed pot with a couple of inches of vegetable oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat to a temperature of 375°F.
9. Line a few baking sheets with paper towels. This will help to absorb the excess oil from the chiacchiere once removed from the pot.
10. Gently drop 2-3 pieces of chiacchiere dough in the hot oil. Notice how the dough immediately puffs up.
11. With the help of a fork, quickly turn them over for a few more seconds and remove with a slotted spoon as soon as they turn golden brown.
12. Transfer the chiacchiere to the baking sheets and allow to cool.
13. Dust the chiacchiere with icing sugar just before serving.