Halfway between the taste of traditional chiacchiere, Venetian zeppole, Roman frappe and Neapolitan struffoli.
Gigi are very simple fried sweets of the rural tradition of the Aeolian Islands.
- 2 cups pre-sifted flour
- 6 ounces butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons dessert wine (malvasia or moscato)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, butter, sugar, eggs, dessert wine and vanilla extract.
Work the mixture for about 10 minutes into smooth dough, and set aside for 15 to 30 minutes.
Heat the vegetable oil to 375: F in a deep saucepan or deep fryer.
Form the dough into a flat loaf and then slice off 1-inch strips and then roll them into 1/2-inch sticks.
Cut the sticks into small pieces about 1 inch long, then drop several at a time into the frying oil, and cook until evenly golden.
Remove the pieces from the oil and place on a towel to drain the excess oil and let cool.
After the gigi have cooled, place them on a plate and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
Serve with dessert wine.
There are several variations of this traditional Eolian fried cookie, but this is the simplest version.
It usually calls for strutto or cooking lard, but I prefer to use butter, as they are much tastier this way.