Grandma Recipe for Carnival Crostoli is a traditional sweet for this special time of the year. Every Region in Italy has its own culinary tradition for Carnival. In Veneto, the crostoli have different names: chiacchiere, frappe, bugie, cenci, galani. No matter the name, they are simply delicious!
A thin and sweet deep fried fillo dough with sugar on top. Simple, seasonal, and easy to make, as usual.
The Carnival is famous around the world, but particularly in Venice. If you are lucky enough to get lost in the calle (the tiny streets) in Venice during this time of the year, you can meet people with beautifully decorated masks. And we do not refer to the masks we have wear now during the pandemic!
Also, you will find all around you delicious treats in all the pastry shops, presenting any kind of sweets. If we have to pick one favorite sweet, we definitely go for crostoli!
This Grandma Recipe for Carnival Crostoli is easy: just a few simple ingredients for a special result. Flour, eggs, sugar, and butter: as simple as is. If you are able to resist them, they can last for a few days at room temperature.
- 2 cups (240 g) pastry flour
- 3/4 oz (20 g) granulated sugar
- 3/4 oz (20 g) butter at room temperature
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 Tbsp grappa
- a pinch of salt
- pinenuts oil for deep frying
- granulated or powdered sugar for dusting
- In a mixer bowl add the flour, the granulated sugar, a pinch of salt, the butter at room temperature, the grappa and the eggs. Knead the dough until it smooths for at least 15 minutes. You can also knead by hands.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 15 minutes at room temperature.
- Divide in 4 parts the dough and roll one piece at the time. The thinner the better. You can do it with the rolling pin or with the pasta maker machine.
- With a roller wheel for ravioli, cut the dough in squares or diamonds and place them on a flour dust surface.
- Deep fry the crostoli until they brown on both sides.
- With a round skimmer take them out of the oil and place them on a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb the oil.
- Dust the crostoli with sugar, Both the granulated and the powdered sugar do the work. Pick the one you prefer and enjoy!
The Crostoli Story
The Crostoli story relates to Carnival. Probably the sweet was born in Venice, and then it spread in other Regions. The names vary by Region: chiacchiere (in Milan, in Central Italy, and in Sassari, Sardinia), bugie (in Piedmont and Liguria), frappe (in Rome and Ancona), cenci in Florence. These are only a few. If you look on wikipedia you will find more than 30 names!!!
In Venice the crostoli are also galani. The only difference between the two is the shape. The crostoli have a square or diamond shape, slightly thicker, and with a cut in the center. The galani, typical in Venice, are long twirled rectangles like a ribbon, very thin and friable.
“Crostolo” comes from Latin “crusta” that means a kind of cookie.
In the Venetian Republic the Carnival started on December 26th and lasted until Mardi Gras, the day before the Ash Wednesday, when the Lent begins. It was a long celebration along with a theater festival. Comedies, musicals, tragedies, operas were the preeminent shows offered to the public.
Ending a sumptuous dinner with a trail of sweets is linked to the festive spirit of Carnival, but not only. This period of the year also marks the transition from the winter season to spring.
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