Zeppole-Inspired Dough-Pops

For whatever reason, and I’m not here to figure it out today, but anything on a stick just tastes so good.  In honor of #National Doughnut Day, I decided to go Italian and make a sweet treat on a stick, inspired by the popular ‘Italian doughnut,’ the zeppole.  Typically fried, and in my family, made every year on Christmas Eve, this time-honored Italian doughnut can be sweet or salty.  Savory renditions are usually stuffed with an anchovy or plain, dipped in tomato sauce.  Sweet versions include drizzled with melted honey or dusted with powdered sugar. Today, I’ve created a zeppole-inspired dessert that is quick, easy, not fried, and so tasty, not to mention, perfect for parties and ideal for kids to help in the kitchen.  I’ll be sharing my family’s traditional, authentic zeppole recipe this holiday season.

When BELLA LIFE sent me a cake-pop maker, I didn’t first think of cake-pops to be quite honest…I thought, “ZEPPOLE BALL MAKER!”  Needless to say, I’ve experimented, tried, and tested several versions of zeppole-inspired dough to create this particular recipe that works perfectly with a cake-pop maker.

Let your imagination run ‘pazzo’ when making these – I’m dipping in a simple glaze (1 cup confectioner’s sugar and 2 tbsp. water; whisk until smooth) and then rolling with cinnamon and sugar, colored sugar, and finally candy confection (red, white, and green, of course).  You can substitute the water with your favorite flavored extract and roll in any topping you like (coconut, nuts, etc.).  Be bold, creative, playful and have fun!  BUON APETITO!

Zeppole-Inspired Dough-Pops

–          1 pkg. quick rise instant yeast

–          1/3 cup very warm water

–          1 tsp. sugar

–          ½ tsp. salt

–          4 cups flour

–          ½ tsp. baking soda

–          1 egg

–          ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

–          12 oz. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled

–          1 cup heavy cream

Boil the potatoes until a fork easily pierces, and they are fully cooked. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until fluffy and set aside.  In a small bowl, add the water and yeast, mix, and then add the sugar.  Allow this to proof for about 15 minutes.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.  IMG_2488Add the egg, potatoes, oil, yeast, and cream, and mix thoroughly until dough is well blended and forms a smooth, soft ball.  IMG_2490Allow to proof for about 30 minutes.  It will double in size.  IMG_2491Drop 1 tsp. of dough into each cup of a lightly greased cake-pop maker.  Cook as indicated by the included instructions.  I cook for 6 minutes closed, one minute open.  Remove carefully and allow to slightly cool.  Once cooled, insert a stick, dip into the glaze, roll in your selected topping, and allow to set in a mini-cupcake wrapper.  IMG_2493This recipe makes about 6 dozen (if you split it in half, I suppose you can still use 1 egg, since, let’s face it, how do you possibly split an egg in half? This will just make a richer dough, which is never a bad thing when it comes to ‘carby’ delectables like these).   Or, just make the whole recipe and freeze what’s left (before glazing/decorating) – defrost and then dip and roll.  I also didn’t use sticks on all of them; I had a bunch in a plastic container with a lid, poured about 1/4 cup powdered sugar and shook the ‘abbondanza’ outta them – they came out delicious.  You can see a pic of those here.IMG_2497

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