Crispy, bubbly and super addicting Chiacchiere ia a typical food during Mardi Gras or Carnival season in Italy. Both kids & adults adore them!
Depending on the region they differ in shape, name and even slightly in the ingredients.
Chiacchiere, pronounced as [kjakˈkjɛːre], is their typical name in Lombardia, crostoli in Veneto, frappe in Central Italy and bugie in Liguria & Piemonte.
But sweet and super delicate dough strips with lemon aroma are deep fried in oil and then topped with confectioners sugar is all they are.
With few simple ingredients you have a pretty outstanding result that whole family with LOVE.
There are a few tricks that will make the whole preparation even easier and your chiacchiere simply irresistible!
- Butter should be soft or almost melted.
- Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes. If you let it rest overnight in the fridge, remove from the fridge a few hours earlier for the dough to be at room temperature.
- Rolling the dough: use pasta machine if you have one (it’s certainly worth getting one if you don’t). Makes life so much easier, especially for pasta rolling and pastries like this.
- Folding and running the dough again through pasta roller (or hand rolling) a couple of times is KEY for those magic airy bubbles that you see. Again, pasta machines makes the whole process really easy peasy.
- Vegetable oil should be between 350F-360F when you start frying. If the oil is not hot enough chiacchiere will absort too much oil and will become greasy. If the oil is extra hot (burning/smoking) it’ll give and unpleasant burned oil flavor the the pastry.
Here are a few tricks for you to use if you don’t have a kitchen thermometer.
- Heat oil on slow medium heat and stir occasionally to let it heat evenly.
- When you think oil might be hot enough try dipping a small piece of dough first. If it comes up floating and bubble quickly (1-3 seconds) oil is ready, if it sinks for a longer time let it heat for a bit longer.
And last, but probably the most important trick that I’ve learned from my mother in law is..
Keep covering the dough with hot oil while it’s in the pan. Using a laddle or a large spoon simply scoop some oil from the pan and pour it over the dough. This is the secret to perfect, even color and zero oil inside pastries!
This trick applies to most things fried including chiacchiere, fritelle and seadas.
Crispy, bubbly & super addicting Chiacchiere ia a typical food during Mardi Gras or Carnival season in Italy. Both kids & adults adore them!
In a large mixing bowl sift flour, baking powder. Add sugar and softened/melted butter.
Give it a quick stir. Add lightly beaten eggs and lemon zest grated with a microplane zester.
Mix everything with a fork. Lastly, add a few table spoons of rum or other high proof liquor. It makes the fritters more crispy.
Knead the dough with your hands until smooth but still pretty firm. Add a tablespoon of water or warm milk if the dough feels too firm and crumbly.
Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
You can let it rest overnight in the fridge, just make sure to remove it from the fridge an hours before starting working with the dough.
Once the dough is “rested”, cut off a piece approx ½ inch wide and sprinkle it with flour.
If using pasta machine, set the roller setting on 0 and pass the dough through. Fold it in half, and pass again on the next setting.
If using a hand roller, roll the dough light, fold in half and roll again a little bit thinner.
Repeat the folding process preferable 2 times on each setting. This helps created an amazing “airy” and bubbly texture of the dough when it’s deep fried.
The best thickness setting on pasta machine for ready to cut chiacchiere is on 5-6 ( 1.2 - 1.5 millimeters).
Using a pastry crimper wheel cut the dough into 1x4 inch strips strips or 2x4 strip scored in the center.
In a deep pan or fryer preheat vegetable oil suitable for frying. The best temperature to start frying the dough is about 350F. You can measure it with a kitchen thermometer.
But if you don’t have one try frying a small piece of the dough, if it comes up floating and bubbly in less than 3 seconds the oil is ready.
Once oil is heated turn the temperature on medium low to prevent oil from overheating.
Fry chiacchiere for a few minutes on each side and once they’re lightly brown discard on paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Place fried chiacchiere or crostoli on a serving plate and generously dust with confectioners sugar.
Look at these gorgeous, delicate and crispy bubbles!!
Did you know the word chiacchiere in Italian means chit-chat or small talk.
Because, well, you can eat A LOT of these when chatting with your friends, lol.
So Buon Appetito & Happy Chatting! 😀