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farfallette dolci
Farfallette Dolci (Bowknots, fried pastry dough strips, without yeast; with almond and orange extract; Carnival fritters)
Originated from: Northern Italy
Occasion: Carnival fritters
Contributed by: Mary Melfi

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For dough

3 large eggs
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter (melted, but cooled)
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon orange extract

For frying
About 2 cups vegetable oil for frying

For dusting
about 1/2 cup icing sugar


To make dough

1. Beat eggs.

2. Add melted butter, salt, sugar, orange and almond extract to the beaten eggs. Mix well.

3. Add 1 cup flour, mix well.

4. Slowly add the rest of the flour into mixture and work into a soft and malleable dough. If the dough is too soft add a touch more flour, if it's too hard, add a touch more butter.

5. Shape the dough into a ball.

6. Wrap the dough with clear plastic wrap.

7. Place the dough in a container and let the dough rest for about an hour.

8. Version I. Take a piece of dough, flatten it between the palms of your hand, flour it a little, and then and pass it through the pasta maker, until you get a pastry sheet about 1/8 of inch thick (The length does not matter, as the pastry sheet will be cut later on).

8. Version II. Cut the dough in 2 sections. Roll on a well-floured board until the dough is 1/8 of inch thick.

9. Cut with pastry cutter into strips 7 inches long by 3/4 inch wide.

10. Make bows.

11. Heat oil in a deep frying pan and then place a few bows at a time in the pan. Fry until they are golden (Do not brown).

12. Drain on absorbent paper.

13. Cool.

14. Dust with icing sugar.


This is yet another variation on the traditional Italian carnival fritter. The original recipe which I found in an old Italian cookbook (published in 1948) contained too many eggs and too little sugar. I adapted the recipe and found the result rather pleasing. Possibly, that's because I prefer fritters that are flavored with vanilla, lemon, orange, or almond extract to those that don't use any special flavorings. Prior to World War II few fried doughs were flavored in Molise (my birthplace). Of course, nowadays, cooks in Molise and/or anywhere else have changed their "traditional" recipes and adapted them to suit their own tastes. The world is at one's fingertips, so, why wouldn't it show up in one's foods? Photo: by the contributor.

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