Chiacchiere

4-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

4 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3/4 cup white wine

1/4 cup light rum or liqueur of your choice

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs, at room temperature

Vegetable oil for frying

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Sift the flour into a bowl. Sift the baking powder into the flour and stir them together. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, wine, rum, sugar, vanilla, and eggs.  Whisk until well blended.

Add the flour to the egg mixture 1 cup at a time, blending with a fork. Once you have incorporated all the flour, knead the dough briefly in the bowl with one hand until it is soft and smooth. It will be moist and a little sticky but refrain from adding flour if you can. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.

Flatten the dough with a pasta machine or a rolling pin into a 1/8-inch-thick sheet, as for a pie crust, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking. With a fluted pastry cutter, cut the dough into strips about 1 inch wide and 6 inches long. Cut a 2-inch lengthwise slit in the center of each strip. Pick up a strip, insert one end through the slit and pull it through.

Put 4 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy 6-quart pot and place over moderately high heat.

When the oil reaches 375ºF, you can begin frying the chiacchiere. Work in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pot. Using a large, shallow stainless-steel skimmer or a slotted spoon, transfer few pieces of dough to the hot oil. They will puff immediately. Fry the chiacchiere keeping them constantly in motion, until they are golden all over, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.

Transfer them to a tray lined with paper towels to drain briefly, then put them on a serving platter. Dust heavily with confectioner’s sugar while still warm.

Copyright, Rosetta Costantino. All rights reserved.

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