MAKES 9 TO 10 DOZEN
Somewhere between a pastry and a cookie, these flaky, twisted strips of dough are usually made during Carnevale, the period just before Lent. Chiacchiere means "chit-chat" or "gossip," and like chatter that does not stop, you will not be able to stop eating these.
The dough has the consistency of pasta dough, and if you have a hand-crank pasta machine, you can turn these out in no time at all. Mound these on a pretty plate for a party presentation.
2 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 extra-large egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons brandy or rum
Vegetable oil for deep-frying Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling
To make the dough using a food processor, combine all the ingredients in the bowl and process until a ball of dough starts to form. Add a little water if the mixture seems dry. The dough should be soft but not sticky, with the consistency of pasta dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times.
To make the dough by hand, in a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with your hands or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the egg, milk, lemon juice, and brandy or rum, and knead until a ball of dough forms.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Work with one piece at a time. Run each piece of dough through the rollers of a pasta machine to the thinnest setting. Alternatively, using a rolling pin, roll each piece out on a floured surface until it is about 1/8 inch thick.
With a pastry wheel, cut each piece into 5 by 1-inch strips. Twist each strip loosely and place on clean cloths.
In a deep fryer or deep heavy pan, heat the vegetable oil to 375ºF. Fry the strips about 12 at a time until golden brown. Drain on brown paper.
When cool, sprinkle the strips with confectioners' sugar.
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