June 18, 2008 (Last Updated: January 11, 2019)

Crostoli, or “sweet knots”, are called by different names depending on the region of Italy: frappe, chiacchere and cenci are just a few. Although they’re eaten all over Italy, these pastry twists are especially popular in the north. They’re not too sweet and are delicious served with coffee after dinner.


Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 1 hour


  • 240g cake flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 30ml butter
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 80ml dry white wine or grappa
  • a pinch of baking powder
  • 10ml vanilla extract
  • 40ml sugar
  • oil, for deep-frying
  • icing sugar, to dust



Combine all the ingredients for the dough in a bowl. Pour out on a lightly floured work surface and knead well for a few minutes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.


Take a little of the dough and roll it out as thinly as possible. Cut with a fluted pastry wheel into long narrow strips and twist to resemble bows.


Heat the oil in a heavy-based pot and fry the crostoli a couple at a time, constantly turning them, until they are golden, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towel and cool.


Place the crostoli in a bowl and sprinkle generously with sugar before serving.


If you don’t have a fluted pastry wheel you can use a knife.



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