Ingredients

1 15-ounce ricotta cheese
4 eggs
1 tablespoon Vanilla
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound powdered sugar

Directions

1. Sift flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, using a wire whisk beat the eggs and vanilla for one minute.
3. Add the ricotta cheeses and egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Using a large spoon or electric hand mixer, incorporate all ingredients together for 2 to 3 minutes. The batter will look very thick. Cover batter with plastic wrap and let it rest on counter for 20 min.
4. Place powder sugar in a large pie plate and set aside.
5. Line a dish with paper towels and set aside.
6. Pour La Spagnolia oil in a very deep pot (about 3 inches) and heat oil on high.
7. Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, drop scant scoops of batter directly into hot oil. Using a spider spatula continuously move donuts around to evenly cook till deep golden brown.
8. Carefully remove golden donuts from hot oil onto prepared paper toweled pie plate to remove excess oil.
9. Immediately roll hot donuts into powder sugar, and  enjoy!!!

Recipe courtesy of Felicia Ciaramitaro Mohan, 2011.

These are considered a special treat by Felicia Ciaramitaro Mohan’s family, especially her son BJ, who helps make this recipe. Every Sunday, especially on religious holidays such as Easter Sunday, Grandfather Joe would make these special donuts “for us (seven Grandchildren) on Sunday mornings. This is one of many treats he and my grandmother Felicia would make for Sunday coffee time after Sunday Mass.” The special ingredient in these homemade donuts is ricotta cheese. It is mixed into the batter and makes for a very moist and tasty round donut, which is rolled into powdered sugar right after frying them in oil.

“My Grandfather passed away when I was in high school. When my twins were born many years later, I remember counting the months till they could have table food so I could make them to enjoy on Sunday mornings and Holiday mornings just as I did growing up.”

“My kids enjoy them just as much as my cousins bother & I did. My daughter Amanda knows how to make the batter, BJ is a professional donut powdered and my husband is defiantly the best at eating them! With our busy schedules traveling with our daughter Amanda for tennis, Sunday mornings as a family are tough to fit in. In spite of this, everyone knows, including my nieces Eloise & Madeline, that when TeTe, Uncle Barry, BJ & Amanda are home on a Sunday donuts are being made while the sauce and meatballs are cooking for our family dinner!”

You may want to try them for a special day such as Easter or at any time you want to make a special treat.

So BJ, what's your all-time favorite treat that I make you on Sunday mornings?

Well, it'd have to be Italian doughnuts.

Italian doughnuts. What's the secret ingredient to our Italian doughnuts?

ricotta cheese.

ricotta cheese.

Because everything tastes better with cheese, right BJ?

Oh, yes.

So here we have four eggs, which BJ is going to beat up for me. You're going to whip those together, honey. And here I have a cup and a half of sifted flour we're going to add to our bowl.

We have a half a cup of granulated sugar. We have a tablespoon of vanilla, a half a teaspoon of salt, and two tablespoons of baking powder. So we're just going to mix this around.

And BJ's going to pour the eggs right in. Because he's so good at this. Thank you, honey. Very good.

And we're going to mix this up. BJ's job on Sunday mornings and on holidays is to after I've fried the doughnuts in the oil, BJ rolls them into the powdered sugar. And I have to say, he's gotten pretty good at it. All right.

Hey, Mom, how does this look?

I think that looks perfect, BJ. I think we're ready to fry it. Let's bring it to the fryer. And while I'm doing that, you get your powdered sugar all ready. Can you do that for me?

OK.

So here I have La Spagnola oil in a pan on high heat. We have our ricotta Italian doughnut batter that I made earlier. It's been resting for about 30 minutes. And we're going to use this cookie scooper.

When you're using this scooper, dip it into the oil before you dip it into your batter. And they'll slide right out. Here we go. We're going to take a little spoonful, and we're going to drop it into the oil. You can see it's bubbling.

They're going to puff up. They're going to be like a golden brown. At any time you feel like your batter is starting to stick to your scooper, just dip it in the oil.

You can see they're puffing up. So at this point, you can see they're starting to get more golden brown, which is what we're looking for, still looking for deeper color. If you took them out of the oil at this point, as brown as they may look to you, the inside will not be cooked. They'll be really gooey inside.

So let me show you what I mean, if you were to cut this open. It's super hot. It's very doughy on the inside. And we want to be light and fluffy. But at this point, it's still very doughy.

So at this point, you can see that they're nice and dark golden brown. They're perfect. They're crispy on the outside.

They're going to be fluffy and light on the inside. Now I'm going to remove these from the hot oil. And BJ is going to roll them in the powdered sugar. Look at those beautiful doughnuts-- Italian ricotta doughnuts.

So here, BJ, we have them all nice and fried. How do they look?

They look pretty delicious.

They look pretty delicious. Did I do a good job frying them?

Yes.

OK. Who gets the first taste, me or you?

Me, definitely me.

You? I think I'll let you have the first taste today. But I'll have the last taste.

Fine.

It's job every Sunday. Someone's got do it, right?

Yup.

We say time to make the doughnuts. They're very good doughnuts. And they're very messy. And we don't mind, do we?

No, not at all.

Powdered sugar could be everywhere. It's worth it.

Definitely.

Thank you for helping me.

No problem, Mom.

Italian Donuts
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