Italian Bowknot Cookies Recipe -
  • READY IN hrs

Italian Bowknot Cookies

Recipe by  

"Great unusual fried cookies--the original name is 'Cenci alla Fiorentina.' It came from my Italian cousins. I used these for a bake sale once and ran out before I even got started!"

+ Recipe Box + Shopping List + Menu Print

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 dozen Change Servings
  • PREP

    1 hr
  • COOK

    30 mins

    2 hrs 30 mins


  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together. Cut in the butter until well-blended. Stir in the eggs and mix thoroughly.
  2. Knead dough on a floured surface until dough is elastic. Let dough rest for 1 hour.
  3. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. Divide dough into 4 parts, keeping each piece covered until ready to use. Roll each piece into a thin rectangle, about 8x10 inches. Cut dough into strips about 8 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. Tie each strip into loose knot.
  5. Fry cookies in hot oil 3 to 4 at a time, until golden brown. Transfer cookies to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain well and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and honey, if desired. Serve hot or cold. Store any uneaten cookies in an airtight container (see Editor's Note).
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Editor's Notes:
  • Drizzle the honey on the cookies just before serving; if you're planning on storing them, omit the honey.
  • We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount may vary depending on cook time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jun 27, 2007

The reviews posted must not be from an Italian! This was a good recipe. The directions are just what I have been taught from my grandmother. If your cookies are not crisp then your oil isn't hot enough. If there not good the 2nd day then you haven't used air tight storage. To keep the cookies at there best you should wait until serving to put the honey on them. Oh and no this isn't a quick cookies to make. Plan on taking your time and know that you will be at this for a while. My only other suggestion is that you can cut the dough into dimonds and slice a slit in the middle and fold one side through the hole, then fry.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Oct 20, 2009

Glad this recipe worked for others. I had no luck.


11 Ratings

Dec 10, 2007

Apparently some of you are not bakers. You cannot drench a fried cookie in honey. This is a time consuming, and must have patience recipe. My family bakes them often, and they stay for days if stored in an airtight container. After the cookies come out of the fryer, drain on paper towels, then sift powdered sugar all over them. Drizzle the honey right before being served, not before you store them.Drizzle is the operative word. Try the recipe again. I had to make several batches before I got them right.

Sep 30, 2009

This is a decent recipe. At my house, there were some additions to the recipe that strengthen the success of this fabulous cookie. A teaspoon of vanilla or orange extract will liven it up. Besdies the already noted input that the oil needs to be HOT, as hot as you can go without burning the oil, the cookies themselves should be thin. The thinnner you can get them, the better they will fry and the crisper, and less oily they will appear. While shopping at a local Italian market in San Diego, I came across a cute little cookie company, Cookies con Amore, that actually makes these in a variety of flavors. They did not have the honey, but they were REALLY close to what my Nonna used to make!

Dec 08, 2008

we may not all be bakers, and obviously even bakers make mistakes but the recipe is pretty well written. The key to these cookies is the temperature of your oil, I would suggest frying some test strips, but what do I know I'm obviously not a baker

Dec 08, 2007

Ican't believe that I finally found this recipe. My grandmother use to make these all the time but she called them ribbons. Had the recipe but direction were not very good. thank you so much

Dec 22, 2010

Just finised making these..Just like my mom used to make with the exception of the butter. Can't keep up with my family...I think they are eating them faster than I can fry them up...Thank you...they are perfect.

Feb 29, 2012

I have been making these with my Italian mom for years as this was her favorite cookie. These keep well for weeks in kept in air tight containers which may be hard to find as these are large and fragile cookies. We did add flavorings, like vanilla, or anise or rum to enrich the flavor. We also used the pasta machine instead of rolling out, with 6 selections on the machine, we rolled to number 5, then cut them into strips and made a slit in the center pulling one end through the slot making a bowtie effect. Mom would roll and I would cut. We dusted with XXX sugar when cooled but did not use honey. Mom is gone but these cookies remind of her often and make them just in her honor. smokeygal


Rate This Recipe

Glad you liked it! Your friends will, too:


  • Calories
  • 144 kcal
  • 7%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 23.2 g
  • 7%
  • Cholesterol
  • 19 mg
  • 6%
  • Fat
  • 5.6 g
  • 9%
  • Fiber
  • 0.2 g
  • < 1%
  • Protein
  • 1.4 g
  • 3%
  • Sodium
  • 66 mg
  • 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

See More
Subscribe Today!

In Season

Cool As A Cucumber Salad
Cool As A Cucumber Salad

We have over 100 cucumber salads to help you keep your cool.

Classic Meatloaf
Classic Meatloaf

Meatloaf is the hearty, family-pleasing meal that makes the greatest leftovers ever.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

Related Videos

Italian Cookies I

These cookies are simple, rich, and satisfying. The whole family will love them.

Italian Wedding Cookies III

These buttery bites are delicious with coffee or tea.

Irish Soda Bread Cookies

Turn the flavors of soda bread into quick-and-easy cookies.

Recently Viewed Recipes

Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States