Carnival is the last difficulty before spring and I am really looking forward to the day when the snow will finally melt or rain stop pouring every day, giving way to warmer temperatures and a scatter of a sun.

Faworki, Chrusty, Cenci, Stracci, Bugie, Chiacchere or Frappe and in some houses they will know it as Crostoli. In Italy Cenci and Arancini (rice balls), and in Poland – Faworki, they in all shapes and flavour. Called by many names all over the world, these fried but light biscuit like treats are just perfect with a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon. If you thing that like cookies you can simply stop at one, think one more time. There is no such as thing when full plate of faworki appear at front of you.

It’s nothing funcy, just a simple dough made with flour, eggs and sugar, enhanced with orange zest. There are quite a few variations with the Cenci or Faworki recipe – some calling for grappa, vodka or brandy but in Tuscany, naturally Vin Santo is the preferred choice. And in Poland simple vodka or vinegar will do. You can also substitute the orange rind for lemon if you prefer. And in my version of faworki there is no butter but sour cream.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure that every family has its own secret recipe, along with a special and different name for this carnival fried dough, since they are a cross-cultural element. I know that Russians got the similar sweet treats for Carnival, and they adding a dash of vodka to make them light as a feather, like in Poland!

In my house Chrusty have always been something special. And I always thought they were difficult, laborious and time-consuming. I know that you can make Faworki in many different ways, some more time consuming then other. But I like everything simple and quick. Of course as much as it can be :) So try my Faworki recipe and you will be surprised how easy and delicious they are.

Ingredients for Faworki:

  • 500g all-purpose flour
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 250ml (1 cup) sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vodka or vinegar
  • 8g or 1 sachet of vanilla sugar (optional)
  • Orange or lemon zest (optional)
  • 500g lard or oil for frying
  • powdered sugar to sprinkle on top

How to make Faworki

Put the flour into a large working surface, make a well in the centre and add all the other ingredients into the well.

Using your hands, knead the mixture. Knead for at least for 10 minutes, until the dough becomes very stretchy and smooth and it no longer sticks to your hands.

Roll out the dough using a rolling pin to make long and paper-thin sheets of pastry, about 1 or 2 mm thick. Cut the pastry into sheets using a knife or a cutting-wheel. In polish version you make the small cut in the middle of the stripes and you weave one of the ends through the hole. But it is an optional method an actually you can cut them in any size.

Deep fry the faworki in a large pan with hot frying oil – the oil temperature should be around 190°C / 374°F. If the oil will be too hot faworki will burn and when to low they will be too soggy. Fry them in batches for about 30 seconds per side, checking and turning them often.

Carefully remove the faworki from the oil and drain them for a few seconds on a dish lined with kitchen paper. Dust them with sugar while still warm and and a bit wet so the sugar will stick better to the surface.

If you like you can drizzled them with honey instead of sprinkled with sugar.

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