This traditional recipe is inspired by my Italian Grandmother-in-law, who made these deliciously addicting strips by the boat load, which were devoured by all who were in their presence.
The strips are made with simple dough of which you can add your own personal touch to them by with warming spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and citrus zests at your will. However you decide to create them, you will have to make a very large batch - they're that good!
Topping the strips off with a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of powdered sugar (or both,) I’m sure they will become an Italian family addiction – whether you’re Italian or not. I dare you to try!
Please read my Chef's Notes at the end of the recipe for a very important tip.
3 large eggs
4 tbsp. Irish Kerrygold butter, a delicious grass fed cow butter (or other)
1 tsp. vanilla extracts (not essence)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (or plain flour)
1/2 tsp. table salt
3 tsp. baking powder
Milk or extra flour if necessary
Honey and confectioners sugar for garnishing
1. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.
2. In a stand mixer or using a motorized hand blender or traditional whisk, beat the eggs, butter and vanilla until combined.
3. Add 1 cup of the flour gradually until incorporated and turn out onto a lightly floured board. Add the remaining flour and fold and knead until the dough is nicely smooth and elastic. If the dough is too wet, add a little flour. If the dough is too dry, add a little milk to get the required consistency.
4. Roll out the dough to approximately 1/8 inch thick, forming a rectangle. Using a pastry cutter (I love the fluted edged one), bench scraper or a chef’s knife, cut the dough into strips measuring approximately 4 inches long by 1 1/2 inches - 2 inches wide (about the length of your middle finger and as wide as the finger next to it.)
To make the twists, simply and gently twist the dough pieces so that they look like ribbons. Place the formed pieces of dough on paper towels in an even layer and refrigerate until the oil is heated.
5. Preheat your deep fryer to 375 degrees F. or using a skillet, heat approximately 1 inch of oil (test one strip – they shouldn’t brown too quickly – if they do reduce the heat.)
6. Once the oil is at temperature, drop small batches 4 - 5 strips at a time into the oil and cook for only 1 – 2 minutes until golden. Turn with a slotted spoon to brown evenly. Drain on paper towels and when they are cool, either drizzle them with a little honey and/or powdered sugar.
The strips cook quickly and you won’t be hanging around the stove for long at all. But, having said that – don’t return to the living room and finish watching your favorite show, leaving them alone. This recipe requires your undivided attention for the frying part. Once you get this down, it won’t be a bother at all! Enjoy my friends.