Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chiacchiere - A Carnival Treat

One of the things I love about Italy is how every holiday has its traditional sweet. I have a real sweet tooth and love to eat any kind of cake, cookies, candies, you name it! That's gotten a lot harder since I discovered that I'm intolerant to both gluten and lactose. There are some commercial products available without those ingredients, but for the most part I think they're pretty blah, taste-wise. So, if I want something sweet, I pretty much have to make it myself.

Luckily there are lots of sites on the Internet offering recipes for people with dietary limitations (see my sidebar for some I love). But, it's not always easy to reproduce my Italian holiday favs. As it's Carnival season I've been craving the light, crispy, sugar-coated delights called "Chiacchere." Well, they're called chiacchiere down here in the heel of the boot, in other areas they have all kinds of different names. 

I got lucky and found a great gluten and lactose-free chiacchiere recipe and thought I'd share it with you.

First of all, for any of you who don't know what "Chiacchiere" are, take a look at these yummy creations . . .

Photo from Flickr

  • 300 gr gluten-free flour 
  • 60 gr sugar
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 25 gr vegetable margarine
  • 1/2 glass of liqueur (for example: Martini bianco) 
  • Oil for frying

1. Sift the flour and add the sugar, eggs, softened margarine, and liqueur.
2. Blend well until the dough is smooth and compact. Add more flour if necessary.
3. Wrap in a soft cloth (a clean, dry dish towel will do fine) and set aside to rise for about 30 minutes.
4. Roll a section of the dough out to a thin layer, then use a pastry wheel to cut it into the shapes you desire. (I found my dough to be a bit sticky. It helped to roll it out on floured waxed paper.)
5. Fry the pieces of dough in plentiful hot oil. Be careful not to let the oil get too hot, or the chiacchiere will darken too quickly.
6. When golden, lift the chiacchiere out of the oil with a slotted spoon and lay them on blotting paper to absorb the excess oil.
7. Finally arrange them on a serving dish and sprinkle with powered sugar.
8. Enjoy!

For more info on chiacchiere read my article at Charming Italy.
By the way, besides being the name for these delicious sweets, "chiacchiere" means "chit-chat" or "small talk" in Italian!
Photo from Flickr


Francesca said...

They are a wonderful treat!

Anna said...

following you back from the simply stacie blog hop! thanks for visiting moana saves. you are officially the bravest woman i know for living in southern italy for so long. my father's family is from mola di bari and i did the hospital tour of bari a few years ago. long story. you're still brave. great blog!

Unknown said...

These look delicious. Mmm. They look amazing. I'll just have to go make some soon! Yes indeedy. Glad I found you from the hippity hop Friday from simply stacie and now I'll follow you too as I think we're all in this together with the pre post men. Oh pause. Mental pause thing.. :) yeah. Well, happy Friday!! I'm at eating lots of chocolate and creating some fun party favors:) xo,susan

Mnemosyne said...

This sounds amazing - and the recipe is so simple! I've only been to Italy once, but I want to get back there soon...

Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies said...

Ooh, these look really good. Is it a bad thing that I want to slather them in Nutella? :D

I love your blog--I've always fantasized about living in Europe or Japan. I am a new follower and I can't wait to read more from you!

Saretta said...

Francesca - I agree!

Anna - gosh, I don't feel so brave, it just feels like home here now!

Susan - Let me know how they come out!

Mnemosyne - you should come back to visit Italy soon and often, there is so much to see...and eat!

ohkeeka - I think Nutella slathering is recommended! Thanks for stopping by.