My husband is Italian and is obsessed with doughnuts. He thinks these zeppole "just taste Italian". We made these last weekend to great success. The zeppole are not like a traditional doughnut but are quite nice, especially with the orange zest. There are about a million different recipes for zeppole, some with yeast and some without. These are a very simple recipe and don't require a ton of work, which is nice. I found it hard to tell if the zeppole were cooked through so I just broke one in half out of each batch. Roll the zeppole in the cinnamon sugar as soon as you can so it sticks. You could also dust them with icing sugar. Raisins would be a nice addition, something I'm going to try next time!
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp orange zest
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp olive oil (or melted butter)
oil for frying - vegetable or canola oil
Sift the flour into a medium bowl. Add the sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the egg, sour cream, orange zest, olive oil (or melted butter) and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Heat your oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Working in batches, drop tablespoon sized balls of dough into the hot oil. Cook for approximately 3 1/2 minutes. Place on a paper towel, quickly roll in the cinnamon sugar and eat while still warm.