I was trying to find a recipe when I ran across one that I hadn’t thought about or tasted in decades. Fiocchetti are a sweet treat that Mom would make for us kids on occasion and I’ve just learned that they’re a popular item throughout Italy during Carnivale. (Who knew?) Depending upon where you are in Italy, fiocchetti may be called: “chiacchiere”, “manzòle”, “bugie”, or “risole”. No matter what you call them, basically, they’re all the same: thin strips of sweetened dough that are deep-fried and coated with sugar. After reading that description, you can probably guess why Mom only made them for us “on occasion” and no more often than that.
The word fiocchetti is derived from the word fioccho (pl. fiocchi) or ribbon(s). The strips, if left alone before frying, do indeed look like pieces of ribbon. Mom, however, would pinch each strip in its center, making them look like over-sized farfalle. She referred to them as either angel wings or bow ties. I can remember eating one, alone in my room, that I had stolen from the stove top while Mom was distracted. (Yeah, like a six-year-old would be able to pull off anything in that kitchen with Mom standing right there.) It was a recurring theme in our house. Mom would be cooking some treat and we three juveniles would be falling over each other trying to steal away a sample or two. It’s a wonder that any of them ever made it to the table.
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total time: about 90 minutes, includes 60 minutes for dough to rest.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus as much as 1/4 cup more
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp rum
- 1 tbsp confectioners sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- oil for frying
- additional confectioners sugar
- Mix together all ingredients and combine as if making pasta. Form a large ball.
- Put 1/4 c flour on work surface and knead dough, using as much of the flour as necessary to create a smooth and shiny dough. This should take about 10 minutes
- Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Roll out dough until very thin and cut into strips about 6 inches long and from 1 to 3 inches wide, depending on your preference. If you like, pinch the center of each strip to create a bow-like shape.
- Deep fry in hot oil that has reached 350*. It should only take a minute or two for them to turn golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.
- Sprinkle with confectioners sugar before serving.
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