We used to really enjoy cramming into our tiny kitchen together, sweating because of the stove being on (and our air conditioner being out), and singing as we made these deliciously wonderful treats. Yes my dears, we are making zeppole. Zeppole are deep-fried dough balls that are dusted in powdered sugar. They may be filled with custard, jelly, cannoli cream, or a butter and honey mixture. Zeppole can also be served as a savory treat, being filled with anchovies and fried in bread dough. Tonight, we will be making the sweet version, so grab those aprons and I'll meet you in the kitchen!
Yields 4 to 6 Servings
You will need:
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 stick butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- Olive oil, for frying
- Cut open the vanilla bean lengthwise.
- Using the back of a knife, scrape along the inside of the vanilla bean to collect the seeds.
- Scrape vanilla bean seeds into a small bowl.
- Add the 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine; set aside.
- In a medium saucepan combine the butter, salt, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and water over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil.
- Take pan off the heat and stir in the flour.
- Return pan to the heat and stir continuously until mixture forms a ball, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Transfer the flour mixture to a medium bowl.
- Using an electric hand mixer on low speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, incorporating each egg completely before adding the next.
- Beat until smooth.
- Meanwhile, pour enough oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches.
- Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees.
- Using a small ice-cream scooper or 2 small spoons, carefully drop about a tablespoon of the dough into the hot olive oil, frying in batches.
- Turn the zeppole once or twice, cooking until golden and puffed up, about 5 minutes.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Toss with cinnamon-sugar.
- Serve immediately.
I hope you all have a great evening, and I'll be back this weekend with another recipe or two. Stay tuned, and I hope to see all of you again! Good night!