Cream Cheese Zeppole
Since this is the third time I made it, we can now call it a series. I meant to just do a repeat of what I made last night for my friends at work but my mind kind of strayed and wondered how it will taste with cream cheese. I feel that ricotta cheese needs something to add to it to make it pop in my mouth. Like when I used it for pancakes, it married well with blueberries. Lemon and ricotta cheese is quite a pair and my ricotta zeppole could have been mediocre without the lemon zest.
But going back to cream cheese, it has its own tangy taste so it has a very slim chance of failing. Just thinking about my cream cheese pancakes from way back strengthened my resolve. Go cream cheese! So Jen will be providing the vegetable oil and I’m going to use her deep electric skillet for frying. I on the other hand will bring the other ingredients. To make the story short, something went wrong at the last minute which is a normal occurrence in any story. Nothing biggie- just me forgetting my wire whisk so it means I have to cream and beat and mix everything manually. I’m just thankful my cream cheese has been sitting at room temp since last night and with a little help from the microwave, it was softened some more. But breaking every little piece took longer because I was equipped with just a plastic fork and my cereal spoon. Anyway, perseverance works and I was able to make a decent batter nonetheless. Marilyn was helpful and was with me the whole time so it was an easy process.
The verdict? It’s even better than I imagined. My co-workers and friends loved it. Now I can say I like this one best. They were light and fluffy even when they were cold. I guess the only flaw that I can think of is the shape- they were not shaped like balls at all because I didn't have an ice cream scoop but I got good reviews- in fact, they were nowhere in sight after a while.
So to sum up my zeppole experience, I have tried different consistencies- the puffed and light and airy ones I made with butter and the bread-like but still puffed ones which I made with baking powder. The buttery ones you can't have more than two while the bread-like ones are so addictive and the next thing you know, you're just full and need to stop.
I said this is now a series so expect more zeppole variations from me. By the way, I just found out that zeppole is the plural form of zeppola. I had to edit my previous posts lest I offend Italians who might accidentally stumble upon my blog :-)
Cream Cheese Zeppole
1 cup apf
1 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp sugar
1 pkg cream cheese softened
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
2 extra large eggs
vegetable oil for frying
Sift together apf, baking powder and salt
Beat cream cheese till creamy. Add vanilla extract and beat in eggs one at a time.
Add dry ingredients to the cream cheese-egg mixture and mix well till it becomes a sticky mass
Heat oil to 275 degrees F
Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the oil leaving enough space between each other- do not crowd them. Cook them in batches.
Flip the zeppole after a minute or two and cook till light golden
Scoop out with a spider spoon and transfer to a bowl lined with paper towels to drain
Dust with vanilla sugar or cinnamon sugar or confectioner's sugar and serve warm
Even when they turned cold they were yummy....still.....