According to my friend Steven, zeppole are an Italian holiday staple (at least at his house), and not always prepared sweetly. Apparently his grandfather stuffs them with anchovies every year, and from what I've read about zeppole, that's fairly traditional. I stuck with the cinnamon/sugar variety because I'm not a fan of anchovies in the morning, but you know, stuff these with whatever floats your boat. Jelly? Sure! Chocolate ganache? Why not! Steak tartare? Go for it. Just don't ask me to share.
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 stick butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- vegetable oil, for frying
1. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon and stir. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan over a burner set to medium heat, bring butter, salt, 3 tablespoons of sugar and water to boil. When melted and combined, remove pan from heat and stir in flour. Return to heat and stir until the mixture forms a ball.
I actually enjoyed the donuts more after they'd cooled down a bit since the initial, just-fried bite is extremely rich and custardy. Either way, make sure you eat them the day you make them - this is one of those treats that doesn't keep.