A magical cookie that only comes out at Christmas time
Prep time: 1 hr. +
Cook time: Frying time between 1 – 2 minutes per batch
Deep fryer temp: 350 Degrees F
Italian Bow Tie Cookies Ingredients:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 tbs. rum (I recommend Bacardi 151 Rum or Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum)
- 1 tbs. of confectioners’ sugar for the pasta
- 3/4 cup or so of confectioners’ sugar (For sprinkling on the top of the cookies after cooking)
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- Vegetable oil
- Deep fryer (I recommend using an electric skillet like this one here, instead of a deep fryer or something like a Fry Daddy. You want something that is shallow and wide and with a thermometer so you can control the temperature of the oil.)
- Pasta machine (I recommend a manual pasta machine like this one here.)
Note: I had some help from this wonderful old Italian cookbook to get the ingredients correct: The Cooking of Italy (Foods of The World Series Time Life – 1968 Original version). I have a review of this cookbook here.
See below for VERY detailed recipe instructions
Quick note: This is a wonderful Italian cookie that would always used show up during Christmas, weddings and funerals when I was a kid. These were a magical cookies because they only showed up once or twice a year at best! This was also called Fried Italian Bow Tie Cookies, Italian Knot Cookies, Fried Pasta Bow Tie Cookies, and last but not least, Angel Wings! The Italian name is “Cenci alla Fiorentina”. These Italian cookies are a deep fried sweet pastry, well, a sweet pasta really. Pasta with powdered sugar and rum… YUM! These are also a Polish cookie. The Polish name is Chrusciki or CHRUSCHICI, spelled several different ways actually. Also called Polish Bow Tie Cookies. I am curious as to which country started making these delicious cookies first. I have to investigate this. If any of you readers know, please drop me a note. I would like to add some history about this fried sweet pasta Bow Tie Cookie on the site.
This really is a pretty simple recipe. It’s really just sweet pasta that you fry then sprinkle with powdered sugar. But very delicious!!!
Place 1-3/4 cups of flour into a bowl.
Make a well in the center of the flour, eggs, egg yolks, rum, confectioners’ sugar and salt as per ingredients listed above. Mix well at first with a fork and then continue to mix with your hands until all the flour is combined with the liquids. Mix until you are able to make a nice dough ball.
Now add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour onto a large chopping board. That is what I like to use for kneading dough.
Knead the dough mixing in the flour you just added. Knead the dough for a good 10 minutes or so until you get a nice elastic consistency. Use the standard kneading of fold, push, turn… fold, push, turn… Etc…
Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
After the pasta dough has rested for 30 minutes, it’s time to work with the pasta machine. Cut the dough ball into fourths. Work with a quarter of the dough ball at a time.
First you will roll out the dough to about 1/8″ thickness. Cut the pasta into 3″ wide strips of dough to go through the pasta machine. Don’t make your strips too wide because you don’t want your pasta touching the sides of the pasta machine when you are running the pasta through the rollers. Set your pasta machine to the number 3 setting, run your pasta through slowly. No need to rush this. Then run it through again on the number 2 setting. This should give you an almost paper thin strip of pasta dough.
At this point you should pour vegetable oil into your fryer until you have about 2 – 4 inches of oil in the fryer. Heat the oil up to 350 degrees F. Make sure you wait until the oil is heated up to set temperature. This will take a little time for the oil to heat up to 350 degrees F. OK, now back to making more bow ties! 🙂
Cut the paper thin strips of dough into strips that are approximately 7″ long and 1/2″ wide. Tie them into a loose knot and set them aside. You have to be very careful when you are trying to tie this thin dough into knots. It’s fragile. Take a look at the step by step recipe photos to see how I do this. You don’t have to have knots. You really can have any shape you want. Make little puppy dogs if you can. Any shape will do, but the knot is the traditional shape. Try to tie a bunch before you start frying them.
After the oil has been heated up and you have a good amount of bowties ready to go, it’s time to start frying them up. Carefully place the bow ties into the hot oil with a spoon. Let them cook for about 1 or 2 minutes or until they are golden brown. Don’t let them cook too long or they will taste oily or greasy. They will float to the top pretty quickly. Flip them over a couple of times during the frying and then take them out and place them on a paper towel to drain. I use paper plates with paper towels on top and place the fried bowtie cookies on top of the paper towels to drain. As the bow tie cookies are draining sprinkle on some powdered sugar. It’s important to sprinkle the powdered sugar on shortly after you drain them because you want the powdered sugar to stick to the cookie.
You will work your way through frying all the cookies at the same time your are making more pasta bowties. It’s very helpful to have a few people doing this at the same time. Get the whole family involved with making the bow ties. It’s great fun! I guarantee you will be eating many of the Italian Bowtie cooking before you’re done cooking them!
I like to get a large serving platter and a layer, add powdered sugar, add another layer and more sugar and more bowties and more sugar until you have a nice mound of wonderful Fried Italian Bowtie cookies piled high for all to enjoy!
That’s it! You’re done….. Easy as Pie!
Italian Bowtie Cookie Recipe Photo Gallery