Sweet Bows Crostoli Recipe | Italian Recipes | PBS Food

Lidia Bastianich shares her family recipe for crostoli.


Yield: 36 servings



  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 whole egg plus 1 yolk
  • 3 tablespoon dark rum
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • Confectioners’ sugar


  1. In the top of a double boiler, melt the butter, then add the sugar, milk and salt.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, butter-milk-sugar mixture, whole egg and egg yolk, rum, lemon zest and juice. Mix until the dough is soft but not sticky, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, cut the dough in half and roll out each piece to form a rectangle 1/8” thick.
  4. With a fluted cutter, cut the dough into 1” x 6” strips and form each one into a very loosely knotted bow.
  5. In a deep fryer or deep, wide skillet, heat the vegetable oil just short of the smoking point and fry the bows in batches, turning them once, until golden brown.
  6. Transfer to paper towels to drain, allow them to cool and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.
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