Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Zeppola

Zeppola

So I am not surprised that several of My Favorite Things about the Christmas season happen on or surround Christmas Eve (one of my favorite days and nights all year!)

My Nani Penta (mom's mom) made these every Christmas Eve and when we stopped by, we ate so many (because you can't stop) that we were full for a week!

They are an Italian fried dough...sometimes made plain...sometimes with raisins in them...sometimes with baccala in them (salted cod) or even sometimes with powdered sugar. They are an Italian tradition.

Rob and I tried to make them one year, after Nani passed, and they didn't come out good at all. I found a new recipe and we are going to attempt them again. (Stay tuned!)

Sharing the recipe with you too...in case you are so inclined!

Ingredients:
• 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp salt
• 2 tbsp sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 2 cups ricotta
• 1 cup milk
• ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
• ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
• 1 tsp grated lemon zest
• Vegetable oil for frying
• ¾-1 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 6-8 paper lunch bags

Preparation:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt to combine well.
Combine the sugar and eggs in another medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the ricotta and whisk to combine well. Add the milk, vanilla, nutmeg, and lemon zest and combine well. Whisk in the flour. Combine well. Cover the batter tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. The batter can be made up to 4 hours ahead.
In a deep pot heat about 1 ½-2 inches of oil over medium-high heat until 350F. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet. Carefully spoon tablespoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil in batches. Cook for 2 to 2 ½ minutes, flipping over every 30 seconds, until golden brown on all sides and puffed. Using a slotted spoon, remove the zeppoli from the oil and drain on the rack.
Divide the zeppoli among the paper lunch bags. Add about 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar to each bag, close up the top, and shake to coat the zeppoli. Serve hot.

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