Zeppole or Sfinge

These are a traditional Italian addition to St. Joseph’s Day tables.  And depending on the region in Italy, they could be called zeppole or sfinge.  They are alot like beignets, but honestly better. Mmmm.

1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 pinch cinnamon or nutmeg
2 tsp white sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 qts vegetable oil for frying
confectioners sugar for dusting

Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a medium heatproof bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir in the eggs, ricotta cheese and vanilla. Mix gently over low heat until combined. Batter will be sticky. Drop by tablespoons into the hot oil a few at a time. Zeppole will turn over by themselves. Fry until golden brown, about 3 or 4 minutes. Drop on paper towel to soak up the excess oil and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Best when warm of course.

I’ve read alot of variations on the recipe and some people even add in raisins or dried fruit, or dust with cinnamon and sugar instead of powdered sugar.  I kept it fairly simple but added the cinnamon to the batter for a little pizazz.

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