Ricciarelli – Sienese almond biscuits

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Chiacchiere - Fried Carnival Ribbons

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 30

Chiacchiere - Fried Carnival Ribbons

All over Italy, cooks made ribbons of fried dough as one of the most traditional Carnival sweets. In Tuscany they are known as chiacchiere.


  • 500g (4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 70g (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
  • 30 ml (tablespoon) grappa
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 extra egg yolk
  • 50g (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • zest of 1 untreated lemon
  • 6g (1 teaspoon) natural baking powder
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • Icing (powdered) sugar to cover


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the sifted flour and the sugar. Add a pinch of salt and the lemon zest and mix well.
  2. Beat the eggs (3 whole and 1 yolk) together in a separate bowl.
  3. Add the beaten eggs to the ingredients in the bowl gradually, mixing well.
  4. Add the butter in little pieces and mix well, getting rid of any lumps.
  5. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly for 5-10 minutes. The mixture should be firm but pliable. You may need to add a little flour or a little water as you go.
  6. When the dough has come together, make a ball, cover in cling wrap and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  7. Make 4 portions out of the ball of dough.
  8. On a floured surface, roll the dough out thin (2 mm).
  9. Using a pastry cutter, cut out large (4 inch by 3 inch approx) rectangular strips.
  10. Fry in plenty of hot oil and drain on kitchen paper.
  11. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve.


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