Donuts? Wrong :) Cookies. Deep fried and rolled into sugar. These little ones are called castagnole and they’re Italian carnival cookies (not to be mistaken for frittelles). The name probably comes from Italian word castagna, meaning chestnut. Most of the time they are flavored with Mistrà, an anise liquor. People tend to expect donuts when they see them, if they don’t know what they are, and often disappoint when they taste a cookie. Guess you either like them or not :)


(recipe is from Sale & Pepe magazine, Serbian issue for December 2009)

500 g flour
3 eggs
200 g sugar + lot more for rolling in
grated zest of 1 lemon
100 g butter, melted
1 sachet (12 g) baking powder
100 ml milk
a pinch of salt
peanut oil for deep-frying

Sift flour into a bowl and add a pinch of salt, 200 g sugar and lemon zest. Add melted butter, eggs, milk and baking powder. Stir the ingredients, first with a fork, then with hands. You should have firm dough.

Create small balls from the dough, about the size of a chestnut. Deep-fry in peanut oil on all sides until they’re golden. Drain fried cookies on a paper towel and then roll into granulated sugar.

They should be served with (dipped into) zabaglione, but I personally liked them better with plain dark chocolate sauce.

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  • Ana December 16, 2011 1:04 pm

    What do I think? It is delicious! That is what I think:) Great treat. Thanks for sharing!

  • mjskit December 16, 2011 2:08 pm

    Of course from the looks of it I was expected donut holes! :) If was a surprise to see that these were cookies. That makes them even more appealing!!! They look absolutely delicious!

  • Parsley Sage December 16, 2011 6:46 pm

    HOLY YUM! Donut, cookie, whatever it is it looks out of control delicious :)


  • Monika December 16, 2011 10:51 pm

    Ja mislila da su fritule! :) Nisam nikad čula za ove keksiće ali baš su me zaintrigirali. Pretpostavljam da ne mogu baš dugo stajati i da su najbolji kad su svježe prženi?

    • Marija December 17, 2011 12:16 am

      Meni su stajali par dana, ali da, najbolji su bili sveži. Izađe baš dosta od ove mere. Možda, ako praviš, ne bi bilo loše da probaš sa pola mere.

  • Nevena December 19, 2011 9:23 am

    Čini mi se da sam čula za ove keksiće pržene, a što se tiče mištra, koristi se i za hvarske cvite, također pržena slastica sa otoka Hvara. Ja sam nedavno napravila domaći liker od anisa koristeći najobičniju rakiju, zvjezdasti anis, šećer i med, neodoljiv je, a nekako si mislim da će mi poslužiti umjesto mištra! Ovo ću svakako probati, fotka je prelijepa!!

  • Giuliana February 9, 2013 8:33 pm

    Thank you SO MUCH for this recipe! I’m a Venetian living in the US and I was desperately looking for a good recipe for castagnole for a Carnival party tomorrow. When I lived in Italy, I would just buy a bunch from a pastry store. I tried other recipes in the past few days, but none of them tasted even remotely authentic. Yours worked great. Thanks again!

    • Marija February 12, 2013 10:59 am

      Glad you liked it Giuliana! The recipe came form an Italian cooking magazine. Unfortunately, I have never had the chance to eat the original Castagnole and hope that I will soon :)

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