These light, airy fried pastries are a huge part of 'Carnevale' in Italy and a favorite holiday treat for Italian-Americans. Originally from the Veneto region of Italy, this recipe has been handed down from generation to generation.
INGREDIENTS (for 7 servings):
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons rum (optional)
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- vegetable oil for frying
- confectioners' sugar
With an electric mixer on high speed, beat together salt, sugar, and eggs until very fluffy. Stir in evaporated milk, vanilla extract, and rum. Gradually mix in flour; knead well with dough hook until dough begins to blister, about 10 minutes. (If dough is still sticking to bowl after 5 minutes, mix in 2 tablespoons of additional flour, 1/2 tablespoon at a time.) Remove dough, and cover with plastic wrap; set aside 20 minutes.
Pour oil into a deep fryer or Dutch oven to a depth of 2 inches, and heat over medium heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Separate dough into small portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough portions until very thin. Cut into long, narrow strips (about 6 inches by 1 inch). With a sharp knife, make a slit in the center of each strip, and draw one end through the slit.
Fry in hot oil until puffy, blistered, and very light golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to paper towels to cool. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Store in an airtight container.