About this recipe:Crostoli are a huge part of 'Carnevale' or 'Carnival' in Italy; these light, airy fried pastries are also a favourite holiday treat for Italian-Americans. This family favourite has been handed down from my great-grandmother, who brought the recipe with her when she emigrated to the U.S. from the Veneto region of Italy.
With an electric mixer on high speed, beat together salt, sugar, and eggs until very fluffy. Stir in evaporated milk, vanilla extract, and rum. Gradually mix in flour; knead well with dough hook until dough begins to blister, about 10 minutes. (If dough is still sticking to bowl after 5 minutes, mix in 2 tablespoons of additional flour, 1/2 tablespoon at a time.) Remove dough, and cover with plastic wrap; set aside 20 minutes.
Pour oil into a deep fryer or Dutch oven to a depth of 5cm, and heat over medium heat to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F).
Separate dough into small portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough portions until very thin. Cut into long, narrow strips (about 15cmx2.5cm). With a sharp knife, make a slit in the center of each strip, and draw one end through the slit.
Fry in hot oil until puffy, blistered, and very light golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to paper towels to cool. Sprinkle with icing sugar. Store in an airtight container.