Italian Pastry Squares (Zeppoli's)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3-3/4 cups flour
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and butter over high heat until the butter melts. Remove from heat and allow to cool until lukewarm.
Add vanilla and egg; mix well.
Place mixture in a large bowl and gradually mix in flour until well combined. Roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface until paper thin. Cut into 2-inch square pieces.
Place 2 inches of oil in a soup pot and heat over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Place 5 to 6 pieces of dough into the hot oil and cook 30 to 40 seconds, or until golden on both sides, turning halfway through the cooking. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining dough.
Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.