Introduction: Sfrappole (also Known As Chiacchiere)

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It's getting closer to Carnival time and the first thing that comes to my mind about it is eating sfrappole! :D

Sfrappole are one of the most popular foods eaten during the Carnival period in Italy.
The only problem about them is that they are called with different names depending on the region (or even the city) you are in! I think that chiacchiere and sfrappole are the most common names, but honestly I don't know all the others. We just call them sfrappole where I live so I will call them this way.
Thanks to Wikipedia, I've found out that they are also known as "angel wings" in English, but I'm not sure if I should trust it or not...I bet you know it better than me! :)

They are sweet, but not too much, they are crispy and although they are fried, they have a very delicate taste that everybody loves! They are also very simple and fast to make so I recommend you to try this recipe if you can.
You can eat them as a dessert or as a snack...I even eat them for breakfast :D

I admit it: sfrappole are my favorite thing about Carnival...I wish I could eat them all year long!!

Step 1: Ingredients

This is a dose for 2 eggs. I didn't count how many sfrappole turned out, but I can tell you that all the ones you see in the first two pictures of step 8 are the ones I made with this quantity:
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp of powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 2 tsp of rum
  • flour - as much as you need to form the dough
  • 500gr (17.63 ounces) of lard - for frying!

Step 2: Make a Mix

Break your 2 eggs in a bowl and mix them using a fork.
Add the powdered sugar, the rum and the butter.
Mix everything together.

Don't worry if you see little pieces of butter that you can't break in the mix, they'll "disappear" later :)

Step 3: Make the Dough

Let's start adding the flour now.
Keep mixing everything using a fork while you pour a little bit of flour at a time.
Continue to mix and add more flour until your mix becomes less liquid and more solid. That mix must become solid and soft but not sticky. So start to use your hands to incorporate the flour and add as much flour as you need to obtain a good dough, just like the one you see in the picture.

It looks like the dough for egg pasta, except that the smell is much better...thanks to the rum!

Now that your dough is ready, let it rest for 10/15 minutes covering it with a bowl. I'm not sure of the reason why this has to be done, but this is the recipe that my mother has done since I was little so that's the way it MUST be :D

Step 4: Prepare the Dough Sheet

You need to work on a piece of dough at a time now so make sure to have a bowl or something that covers the dough while you are working.

Cut a piece of dough and, using a pasta machine, flatten it starting from the thickest level to the thinnest one.
Actually this depends on the pasta machine you have: my old pasta machine had 7 levels and we used to arrive till that 7th level. The new pasta machine I have has 9 levels. I thought that the 9th level was way too thin so I stopped at the 8th one.
Anyway, you can decide how thin you want it to be, all you need to know is that the thinner it is, the crispier the sfrappole will be.

If you feel that the dough gets sticky while you pass if through the machine, spread some flour on it.

Step 5: Shape Them!

When your sheet of pasta is finally thin enough, use a pasta cutter (or a knife) to cut it in rectangles.
Their size is up to you. Even the shape can be chosen by you!
I believe that the most common one is the simple rectangle with a cut in the middle but I decided to make some bow shaped sfrappole too.

To make the bows, cut short rectangles and pinch them in the middle joining together 2 opposite sides with your fingers.
Take a look at the pictures, it's very easy :)

Do all of this using the remaining dough as well.

Step 6: Prepare the Frying Pan

Unlike most of the other fried food, it's very common to fry sfrappole using lard.
Lard gives a much better taste to sfrappole. Some people even think that sfrappole that have been fried with oil instead aren't real sfrappole! We are very jealous of our recipes and traditions :D

So prepare your frying pan and put all the lard in it.
Turn on the stove and let the lard melt.

Step 7: Fry!

When you see that the lard is hot enough, dip the first sfrappola in it.
You'll see it swelling up but don't worry, it's normal!
Turn it on the other side after a while and let it cook until it becomes orange.
Remove it from the pan and put it on paper to dry a little.

My frist sfrappola turned out quite pale because the lard wasn't very hot yet, but the next ones cooked much faster and better! The longer you cook, the faster it will take because the lard is hotter. Make sure not to cook the sfrappole too much: they'll turn brown and won't taste very good. You must be fast at turning and removing them...they are done in a few seconds!

The bow shaped ones may need to cook a little bit more because the "knot" in the middle takes longer.

Note: you'll probably notice that they are still soft when you remove them from the lard. That's completely normal, they'll get crispy as soon as you lay them on paper for a few seconds.

Step 8: Sprinkle Some Sugar...

When you've finally fried all of them, sprinkle some powdered sugar on them. You can put as much as you want! :)

You don't need to wait any can taste your sfrappole now!!
In my family half of them end up being eaten before they all ready...this is how good they are :D

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