Mind you now, it is not only for school kids, it is for every generation!
It was an incredible feeling to be able to bite into a tourtisseau again (I think the last time was 2006!). It brings beautiful memories and images to my mind: the scents in the house when it has been cooked, trying on costumes for Mardi Gras and coming back from a long walk on the beach knowing there would be warm sweet things to eat for le goûter (afternoon snack).
They are like little doughnuts with a lozenge shape, and the texture inside is similar to the one of fried brioche. I think it is actually difficult to explain the flavour until you taste one, mainly because the added aromas differ a bit depending on the region. It could be some kind of alcohol, but also sometimes a kind of blossom water that has been added to the dough.
The name for it also varies all around France. In my region, we call them: tourtisseaux, bottereaux and foutimassons. Elsewhere, you might find them under the names: bugnes, croquignolles, merveilles or roussettes. There are plenty of other names for them.
I used to really love watching her making them when I was younger. She would carefully prepare the dough and knead it. And after it had rested and raised, she would roll it out on the kitchen table and let my brothers and I cut the lozenge shapes. The next step was a bit too dangerous for us to be around because of the hot oil for frying.
As soon as the dough had fried and shaped itself in beautiful little tourtisseaux, she would lay them on kitchen paper to absorb some of the fat. Then, she would put them all in a huge salad bowl and sprinkle them with icing sugar or fine caster sugar.
I always remember waiting impatiently for the first bite. I probably burned myself a few times because I stole a couple while they were still very hot. I just could not resist...
They taste so wonderfully, they have a slight crispy edge and a delicious fluffy brioche-like centre.
However, I have looked around a bit for a recipe in English and you can find one here or here. I hope you get to try it and share it with loved ones.