This is a really old Italian cookie. I have tried many recipes but found this one in a 1983 edition of Family Circle and they turned out the best and were the crispiest ~ Fatkat
Crispy Italian Bowtie Cookies
2 Tbsp sugar
2 c sifted flour
2 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp grated lemon rind
Oil for frying
Beat together the eggs and sugar in a medium size bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stir in 1 1/2 c of the flour, the vanilla and lemon rind until blended. Shape into a ball.
Turn the dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes; add as much of the remaining flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rest 5 minutes.
Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Roll 1/4 of the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Keep remaining dough covered with plastic wrap while working with the one fourth. Cut into 5 x 1 1/2 inch strips with pastry wheel or pizza cutter. Make a lenghwise slit about 1 inch long in center of each strip. Pull one end through the slit to make a bowtie. As you work, keep bowties covered with plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining dough.
Pour oil into large saucepan or Dutch oven to a depth of 4 inches. Heat oil until it registers 375 degrees on a deep fat frying thermometer, or until a 1 inch cube of white bread turns golden brown in about 50 seconds. Transfer 3 or 4 cookies to the hot oil with metal spatula. Fry cookies for a total of 3 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper toweling; cool. Keep unfried bowties covered with plastic wrap. Fry remaining cookies. Store in tightly covered container. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving. Makes about 2 dozen