Home Italy Revisited Bookshelf Plays About Mary Melfi Contact Us
carnival fritters
Bugie, Cenci, Chiacchieri, Frappe (Carnival fritters, bow-shaped pastry strips)
Originated from: Italy
Occasion: Carnival
Contributed by: Mary Melfi

Printer Friendly Version


For pastry dough

3 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/4 cup melted butter (at room temperature)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon grappa or rum or Vino Santo (optional)

For flavoring:

1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons anisette extract or liqueur
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

For deep frying
Vegetable oil

For decoration

about 1/2 cup icing sugar
about 1 cup honey

Multi-colored sprinkles (used with honey)


1. Melt the butter. Cool.

2. Beat the eggs.

3. In a bowl mix the eggs and butter together.

4. Add the desired flavoring the egg and butter mixture.

5. In separate bowl mix the flour, salt and sugar together.

6. Slowly add the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture and mix well.

7. Work the ingredients into a soft malleable dough. If the dough is too soft, add more flour. If it's too hard, add a touch more butter.

8. Divide the dough into two portions.

9. Shape the portions into two balls of dough (Technically, one could make one ball of dough, but as it is easier to work with fresh dough, it's best to divide the dough, so that while one works with one ball of the dough, the other can continue to rest, thus avoiding drying out the dough).

9. Wrap the balls of dough in plastic wrap.

10. Let the dough rest at room temperature for about an hour.

11. Take one of the balls of dough and roll it on a lightly floured board to 1/8 inch thick, or use a pasta machine (A pasta machine will facilitate the process!).

12. Using a serrated pastry cutter and a ruler for guidance (or a home-made cookie cutter) cut the dough into long rectangles of 8 to 9 inches long by 3/4 inch wide. Make bow (See picture)

13. Continue making the fritters, re-shaping whatever scraps of dough have been left over, and re-passing it through the pasta machine.

14. Repeat the steps with the second ball of dough.

15. Heat up oil.

16. Fry a few at a time, turning them over, making sure they are an even golden color. These fritters burn easily, and break easily as well, so one has to be extra careful.

17. Remove with a slotted spoon.

18. Place on a dish with paper towels to drain excess oil.

19. Cool.

For decoration

A. Dust with icing sugar.


B. Drizzle honey on the fritters. Add multi-colored sprinkles (optional).


These fritters are the prettiest, if not the easiest to make. Photo: by the contributor.

Back to main list