Italian Bow Knot Cookies

Fried Italian bow knot cookies are a staple in our house at Christmas.  We called them bows, and both my Neapolitan grandmas made them.  I have fond memories of making these with my grandma and my mom and have written about these Neapolitan treats before.

Maria Lo Pinto’s recipe for farfallette in her Art of Italian Cooking cookbook is a good recipe for these.  The one pictured below is my grandma’s copy of the cookbook.  I’ve also seen bows called crostoli, guanti or cenci, so a recipe under any of these names would be the same thing.



10 responses to “Italian Bow Knot Cookies

  1. Dina, I’d much rather have one of these cookies than any chocolate or frosted cookies. They’d go well with a nice cup of tea.

  2. These look great! I would love licking my fingers afterwards. 🙂

  3. Do you have a recipe? My mother used to always make these and I tried making them again today but they didn’t have enough anise flavoring and I think I rolled them too thin (I thought I could never do that!) Help! How wide do you cut them and then pull the dough through. They needed more substance. Thank you.

    • huntfortheverybest

      Hi Janis! I use the recipe from the Mario Lo Pinto cookbook. I use vanilla–not anise but of course you can use anise! They should be rolled thin but maybe it was damp the day you made them?

  4. We make these Every Year for X~Mas, My Great Gradma brought this recipe from Italy {I am 4th generation}. My Mom, Aunt, Myself & My 8yr Daughter still carry on this Amazing Tradition!! I wish I could share this “Martella Family Secret Recipe” but my Grannie before she passed only gave us each a “part” of the Recipe!! So that We would keep the “Martella Girls” “Bake Day” a tradiotion & Always do it Together!! We all know what each of us adds!! If & when I have the complete recipe I’ll share!!

    • We call them Twisters in My Family!! & They’re the Best Family X~Mas Tradition from our Italy!! Our Mother Land!!!

    • huntfortheverybest

      I love these too. We will be making them next week. Great tradition. That’s a very Italian thing to do to keep it in the family!

  5. Pearl Trotter from Modesto. CA

    I make them all year long. By far the best cookie ever. They also bring back memories of my Italian child hood.

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