When I was a child, Carnival was the funniest period of the year. I remember that the excitement for Carnival started already in January when my Mom and my Great-aunt, who was dressmaker, started thinking about which carnival costume to sew for my sister and me. Every year I wore a different costume, and together with my friends I used to go banking on the doors in my town asking for treats. I really enjoyed walking around my town throwing confetti at the people with masks on and smelling the fragrance of Carnival fritters that filled the streets.
Living abroad I can’t celebrate Carnival as much as I did when I was young, but at least I can prepare the traditional treats for my family.
So let’s go for these Carnival Castagnole!
INGREDIENTS for ∼ 50 pieces:
200 gr flour
5 tbs sugar
2 small eggs
100 gr butter
zest of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon
8 gr baking powder
30 ml grappa
pinch of salt
peanut oil for frying
granulated sugar to serve
Place the sugar, eggs and grappa in a large bowl and beat with a mixer, fitted with the wire whip attachment, until light and fluffy. Add melted butter to the batter and keep mixing.
Sift the flour with the baking powder and a pinch of salt, and then add it to the batter a little at a time, along with the orange and lemon zest. Knead, using the dough hook, to form a a smooth and soft dough.
Put the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Cutting a piece of dough at a time, roll the dough out to form a long cilinder of about 2 cm thick. Cut it in small pieces and roll every piece between your hands forming a small ball (see the picture below).
Meanwhile heat the peanut oil in a deep frying pan. The oil temperature has not to be higher than 170 ºC. Once the oil has reached the right temperature, fry few Castagnole at a time for about 2 minutes, until golden brown.
Drain the Castagnole on a paper towel and, as long as they are hot, roll them in granulated sugar. Enjoy!