Chiacchiere di Carnevale Recipe (Italian Fried Pastries)

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Chiacchiere di Carnevale Recipe (Italian Fried Pastries) – are slightly sweet and crispy Italian fried pastries made and eaten for carnival season in Italy. Scented with citrus and vanilla, these crunchy, airy, and light fritters are dusted with powdered sugar and are known to disappear from your serving platter in seconds! Follow this easy step-by-step photo guide to make the perfect chiacchiere.

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Another popular dessert for carnival is Authentic Sicilian Cannoli Recipe. You will also love Baked Zeppole Di San Giuseppe Recipe (Italian), Easy Italian Crostata Recipe (Jam filled Tart) and Italian Butter Cookies Recipe (bakery style), and Italian Ricotta Pie Recipe (Easter).

Chiacchiere di Carnevale Italian Carnival Pastries

Chiacchiere di Carnevale Recipe are the most delicious treat- you cannot stop with one! These light, airy, flat pieces of fried dough are covered in powdered sugar and make a sensational sweet, and crunchy snack.

This is an original recipe from my cucina to yours! I know you will love them! Don’t say I didn’t warn you when you can’t stop eating them :).

Speaking of Italian Carnevale treats, you will love Zeppole Recipe (Easy Italian Donuts) and Bomboloni Recipe (Italian Donuts with Cream Filling).

Simple Ingredients

There are only a few pantry staples for this easy Chiacchiere di Carnevale Recipe.

ingredient shot for recipe
  • Flour –  Italian 00 flour is recommended, but all-purpose flour will also work.
  • Butter –  room temperature for best results
  • Sugar – superfine or granulated sugar
  • Large Eggs – room temperature is best for the dough to come together better.
  • Baking soda
  • Liqueur – most commonly used Italian liqueurs include- Marsala, Strega, Vin Santo, or Grappa. You can also use rum or brandy. The liquor makes the fritters more crispy.
  • Orange zest – vary the citrus zest by using lemon zest.
  • Sunflower Oil – or canola oil. Use a flavorless oil to fry the fritters (olive oil is not recommended).
  • Powdered sugar – (icing sugar) for dusting

See the recipe card for quantities.

What are Chiacchiere di Carnivale Pastries?

Chiacchiere pastries are made from a sweet dough that’s rolled paper-thin (using a pasta roller or pasta machine), then cut into rustic angel wings and deep-fried. We dust them in powdered sugar before serving, and they remain crunchy, crispy, sweet, and delectable!

Other names for Chiacchiere

Chiacchierepronounced as [kjakˈkjɛːre], is the name I know them. In different regions of Italy they have different names. For example, in Lombardia, crostoli in Veneto, frappe in Central Italy, and bugie in Liguria & Piemonte. More common names for this treat are:

  • CHIACCHIERE (Italian means chit chat, gossip, chatter, or gossip)
  • CROSTOLI (crunch or crunchy)
  • BUGIE (meaning lies)
  • CENCI (Tuscan word for rags)

They all refer to these thin strips of Italian fried dough.

When Do You Eat Chiacciere in Italy

You can eat them any time of the year! But, Chiacchiere (di Carnevale) is most commonly enjoyed during the carnival (around the same time as Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, and Ash Wednesday) season in Italy- typically February or early March. Carnevale is a unique and memorable time in Italy, with parties and street celebrations commencing a few weeks before lent.

You’ve probably seen photos of super colorful and elaborate costumes and masks. The streets are filled with parades, confetti, music, and, best of all…delicious Italian food and (mostly fried) sweet treats!

With all of the delicious indulgences enjoyed during this time, chiacchiere are one of the most popular desserts consumed in large quantities!

final fried chiacchiere do carnivale with powdered sugar on a serving platter. with podered sugar shaker in the background.

How to Make Chiacchiere di Carnevale Recipe (Italian Fried Pastries) Step-by-Step Photos

The process is similar to making sweet pasta dough.

Making the Dough

process of making chiacchiere: rolling out the dough phase 1

Place flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.

process of making chiacchiere: dry ingredients in a bowl adding in butter.

Add the butter and gently mix it into the flour using your hands. Make a well in the center of the flour for the liquids.

process of making chiacchiere: mixing wet ingredients in a bowl.

Mix the eggs, zest, vanilla, and liqueur in a small bowl.

process of making chiacchiere: adding wet ingredients to dry ingredients.

Pour them into the well of the flour mixture and stir to combine using a fork, or wooden spoon.

process of making chiacchiere: mixing dough by hand.

The dough will look crumbly at first.

process of making chiacchiere: making dough ball. Letting it rest in the fridge.

Once a rough dough forms, use your hands to knead it for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes on the counter.

Rolling the Dough

cutting the dough and ready to pass through pasta roller.

After the dough rests, cut the dough in half and then into four even pieces (wrap what you aren’t using in plastic wrap).

Sprinkle your work surface with flour (not too much). Flatten one piece of dough with a rolling pin enough to fit through the widest setting on your pasta machine. 

process of making chiacchiere: rolling out the dough phase 2 keeps getting thinner.

Roll the dough through the widest setting.

process of making chiacchiere: rolling out the dough phase 3 keeps getting thinner.

Continue rolling, reducing the roller width after each roll until you reach the second to last setting (about 7-8 with a pasta roller that starts at 0), reaching paper-thin thickness.

process of making chiacchiere: rolling out the dough phase 4 keeps getting thinner.

If the dough gets too long- cut it in half and keep working with each piece until thin. Thin dough = crispy chiacchiere!

Cover the dough sheet to prevent it from drying, and roll the remaining dough pieces.

process of making chiacchiere: rcutting the dough into rectangle shapes.

Using a knife, a fluted pastry cutter, or a ravioli roller, cut the dough into 2 inches-wide strips. Then cut a slit in the middle of each one making sure not to cut to the edges.

Optional shape: fold the outer pieces of dough through the slit (inside out) on each side. This creates twists on the sides and a bigger hole in the middle.

Place on a baking sheet and cover with a clean dish towel to keep them from drying.

Frying and Serving

process of making chiacchiere: frying the dough part 1 placing in the hot oil.

Heat the oil in a broad and deep heavy-bottom-based pan. Fill the pan with about 2-3 inches of oil.

Drain them on paper towels on a flat cookie sheet.

process of making chiacchiere: frying the dough frying in the hot oil.

The oil temperature should be 180-190C (350-375F). Test a small piece of dough, if it is ready, there will be lots of bubbles surrounding it, and it will turn golden within a few seconds.

process of making chiacchiere: frying the dough frying in the hot oil taking out with slotted spoon.

Make sure to have the oil hot so the chiacchiere puff up quickly and don’t absorb too much oil.

process of making chiacchiere: frying the dough frying in the hot oil taking out with slotted spoon.

Fry the chiacchiere in batches for a few seconds on each side until golden brown and bubbly.

process of making chiacchiere: frying the dough frying in the hot oil taking out with slotted spoon.

Use kitchen tongs or a mesh spoon to turn them. They cook fast, so don’t overcrowd the pan.

process of making chiacchiere: frying the dough frying in the hot oil taking out with slotted spoon.

Use kitchen tongs or a mesh spoon to turn them. They cook fast, so don’t overcrowd the pan.

process of making chiacchiere: frying the dough frying in the hot oil setting fried dough to absorb on paper towels.

Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar and serve!

Shaping the Chiaccherie (two ways)

The small rectangles of the Chiaccherie that look like angel wings (almost like bow tie cookies) have two familiar shapes. The first and most traditional is the one you see in these photos- a long rectangle with one cut down the middle. The second is done by flipping the ends of the rectangles back through the long center cut to create twists on both sides.

Either is great! If this is your first time working with the dough, I suggest trying it in this most straightforward way.

final fried chiacchiere do carnivale with powdered sugar on a serving platter. with podered sugar shaker in the background.

Variations to Italian Chiacchiere Recipe

  • Flavor Options: instead of vanilla, you can use almond, rum, or orange extract.
  • Dip them in Chocolate Spread or Melted Chocolate. This is not traditional, but a little chocolate on top sounds amazing.

Equipment for Making Chiacchiere

final fried chiacchiere do carnivale with powdered sugar on a serving platter. with podered sugar shaker in the background.

How to Store

The chiacchiere pastries will keep well for 5-7 days stored in an airtight container. Store in a cool, dry place.

Top tips

  • Oil temperature. The oil should be between 350F-360F when you start frying. If the oil is not hot enough, the chiacchiere will absorb too much oil and feel and taste greasy. If the oil is too hot (burning/smoking), it’ll give an unpleasant burned oil flavor to the pastry.
  • Rolling the thin dough: use a pasta machine if you have one (it’s certainly worth getting one). Rolling the dough makes it thin enough to get those airy bubbles.
  • Careful not to burn the fried pastries– these Italian pastries fry fast (seconds!). Drop them in the hot oil and when they get puffy with bubbles, flip them over for a few seconds and remove them quickly from the oil.
  • Let rest on paper towels – As soon as they come out of the oil, place them on kitchen towels to stay nice and crisp.
  • Cover the dough in between rolling – wrap the dough you aren’t using in cling film (saran wrap) to keep it soft and pliable.

FAQ

When is Carnivale celebrated in Italy?

Like France’s Mardi Gras, Carnevale is the final celebration before the restrictions of Lent begin on Ash Wednesday (in February). The celebration can last from a day to a month. People dress up in elaborate costumes, sing, dance, and enjoy delicious Italian food such as Chiacchiere di Carnevale Recipe.

How do I know when the Chiacchiere are done frying?

These Italian pastries fry fast (seconds!). Drop them in the hot oil and when they get puffy with bubbles, flip them over for a few seconds and remove them quickly from the oil. The cooking time is fast, resulting in a light golden-colored fried dough.

final fried chiacchiere do carnivale with powdered sugar on a serving platter. with podered sugar shaker in the background.

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Chiacchiere di Carnevale Recipe (Italian Fried Pastries)

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5 from 3 reviews

Chiacchiere di Carnevale Recipe (Italian Fried Pastries) – are slightly sweet and crispy Italian fried pastries made and eaten for carnival season in Italy. Scented with citrus and vanilla, these crunchy, airy, and light fritters are dusted with powdered sugar and are known to disappear from your serving platter in seconds!

  • Total Time: 1hr 30 min (includes resting time)
  • Yield: about 60 pieces 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 1/2 cups Italian 00 flour or all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons superfine sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Zest of 1 orange or lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons butter softened
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Italian liqueur such as Marsala, Tuaca, Strega, Grappa, or Vin Santo (you can also use rum, or brandy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 12 tablespoons powdered sugar for dusting (icing sugar UK)
  • Sunflower oil for frying

Instructions

Dough

  1. Place flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Add the butter and gently mix it into the flour using your hands. Make a well in the center of the flour for the liquids.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the eggs, zest, vanilla, and liqueur. Pour them into the well of the flour mixture and stir to combine using a fork or wooden spoon. The dough will be crumbly at first. 
  3. Once a rough dough forms, use your hands to knead it for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Wrap it in plastic wrap and leave it to rest for 30 minutes.

Pasta Machine Rolling Dough

  1. After the dough rests, cut the dough into four even pieces (wrap what you aren’t using in plastic wrap). Sprinkle your work surface with flour (not too much). Flatten one piece of dough with a rolling pin enough to fit through the widest setting on your pasta machine.  Roll the dough through the widest setting.
  2. Continue rolling, reducing the roller width after each roll until you reach the second to last setting (about 7-8 with a pasta roller that starts at 0), reaching paper-thin thickness. If the dough gets too long- cut it in half and keep working with each piece until thin. Thin dough = crispy chiacchiere!
  3. Cover the dough sheet to prevent it from drying, and roll the remaining dough pieces.
  4. Using a knife, a fluted pastry cutter, or a ravioli roller, cut the dough into 2 inches-wide strips. Then cut a slit in the middle of each one making sure not to cut to the edges. Optional shape: fold the outer pieces of dough through the slit (inside out) on each side. This creates twists on the sides and a bigger hole in the middle.
  5. Place on a baking sheet and cover with a clean dish towel to keep them from drying.

Frying 

  1. Heat the oil in a broad and deep heavy-bottom-based pan. Fill the pan with about 2-3 inches of oil.
    The oil temperature should be 180-190C (350-375F). Test a small piece of dough, if it is ready, there will be lots of bubbles surrounding it, and it will turn golden within a few seconds.
  2. Fry the chiacchiere in batches for a few seconds on each side until golden brown and bubbly. Use kitchen tongs or a mesh spoon to turn them. They cook fast, so don’t overcrowd the pan. Drain them on paper towels on a flat cookie sheet.

Serving the Chiarcchiere 

  1. Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar and serve!

Notes

Equipment for Making Chiacchiere

Top tips

  • Oil temperature. The oil should be between 350F-360F when you start frying. If the oil is not hot enough, the chiacchiere will absorb too much oil and feel and taste greasy. If the oil is too hot (burning/smoking), it’ll give an unpleasant burned oil flavor to the pastry.
  • Rolling the thin dough: use a pasta machine if you have one (it’s certainly worth getting one). Rolling the dough makes it thin enough to get those airy bubbles.
  • Careful not to burn the fried pastries– these Italian pastries fry fast (seconds!). Drop them in the hot oil and when they get puffy with bubbles, flip them over for a few seconds and remove them quickly from the oil.
  • Let rest on paper towels – As soon as they come out of the oil, place them on kitchen towels to stay nice and crisp.
  • Cover the dough between rolling – wrap the dough you aren’t using in cling film (saran wrap) to keep it soft and pliable.

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
  • Category: Sweet
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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7 Comments

  1. If it is a little dry you can add a little bit of water until it is the right consistency. It is important to let the dough rest, covered, and let the gluten relax so the dough becomes elastic.