I have a weakness... doughnuts or any kind of dough that has been fried! One of my most FAVORITE guilty pleasures is making homemade zeppole. Zeppole is like the cousin of a doughnut and closely related to an elephant ear or even fry bread. It is an Italian treat often served as a street food, at festivals and different regions in Italy have different variations (or so I am told). Basically it lightly fried balls of dough covered in sugar. There are a number of ways to make them, fill them or dust them with all sugar and spice. My favorite zeppole recipe comes from Giada De Larauntiis. This recipe is quick and easy and OH SO DELICIOUS!!
The ingredients are super simple!
1/2 cup of sugar for dusting, plus 3 tablespoons
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
1 stick of butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup of water
1 cup flour
olive oil for frying
Start by melting the stick of butter in a sauce pan.
Add 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Add 1 cup of water.
Bring to a boil and take the pan off the heat.
Stir in 1 cup of flour.
Return the pan to the heat and stir the mixture until it forms a ball.
Transfer the dough to another bowl.
I added 1 teaspoon of vanilla- cause I like it :)
Add 4 eggs, one at a time.
Use an electric mixer and incorporate each egg.
Heat up the olive oil- enough to fill up about 2 inches of the pan.
Heat to around 375 degrees.
Using a spoon drop the dough into the oil- I like making them small (so I don't feel so guilty eating a lot of them!)
Let the dough fry for about 3-5 minutes until they puff up and are golden brown.
Drain excess oil on a paper towel.
Combine 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon in a bowl.
Drop the zeppole into the mixture.
and completely cover both sides.
Zeppole are best served warm.
And you can serve them in small paper bags filled with sugar
or even create cute little paper cones!
Regardless of how you serve them- they are SO YUMMY! Which is why I ate almost the entire batch.
And now if you will excuse me, I am headed to the gym!