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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.