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Carnival Castagnole: Golden and Irresistible

Carnival Castagnole are named by their shape, which is similar to that of a chestnut (castagna). The golden morsels known as Castagnole di Carnevale are from the Italian province of Emilia-Romagna and may be seen all over Italy in the days leading up to Carnival. They're also simple to make at home.

They're produced using an egg, flour, and sugar mixture that's been spiked with a liquor - commonly rum or white grappa. Castagnole can also be filled with custard or chocolate cream and topped with powdered sugar.

Here’s the recipe!


9 oz. flour

3 Tbsp. sugar

½ stick butter

2 large eggs

½ glass of rum

lemon or orange, only zest

½ packet of yeast

powdered sugar (to garnish)

peanut oil (to fry)


  1. Shape the flour into a mound on your workspace. Make a well in the center and add the yeast, sugar, and butter. Start to knead mixture together. Add the eggs, one at a time followed by the lemon peel and the rum. Continue kneading until the dough has a smooth and silky texture. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for an hour.

  2. Remove from the refrigerator and separate the dough into rectangles. Use your hands to roll each rectangle into small chestnut-sized balls of dough. Separately, heat peanut oil in a pan and, once hot, add the dough balls (or castagnole) to the oil a little at a time, and fry them until golden brown. To make sure they're cooked through, prick them with a toothpick. If they come out dry, then the castagnole will be ready. Once cooked, remove with a slotted spoon or skimmer and place them on a plate with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.


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