I'm taking a quick break from all things candy cane and gingerbread. And quite frankly, I'm tired today so I'm taking a helping hand from the grocery store with this one. It takes less than ten minutes to whip up this rich and fluffy espresso and ricotta cheesecake, stuff it in some store-bought pie crust and heat up a small pot in which to fry them. It's quick, it's beyond easy, and it's so, so tasty. The outside is crisp and delicate while the inside is super creamy and bursting with espresso. If you prefer to forego frying, these little babies can be baked instead of fried. Simply place them on a parchment-lined baking pan, brush with a smidge of egg wash, and bake at 350 degrees until light browned and the crust is baked through.
1 package [8 ounces] cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup [120 grams] ricotta
1/2 cup [120 grams] granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
On the sidelines:
Store-bought pie crust
Powdered sugar, for topping
Oil, for frying
In the first bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Chill in the fridge for an hour.
Roll out the pie crust on a lightly floured surface. Use any size or shape cookie cutter that you have on hand or simply cut the dough into squares. I used a small, fluted, circular cutter but it really doesn't matter too much.
Spoon a little teaspoon of filling onto a piece of pie dough. Using a little water or an egg wash, brush the sides of the dough and top with another piece of dough. Press firmly along the edges to make sure the dough is fully sealed. If you don't totally seal the dough now, it may leak into the hot oil and that is no bueno. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
I like to freeze the little pies at this point but it's completely optional. Fill a large pot with a few inches of vegetable or canola oil. Place over medium-high heat and heat until 375 degrees.
Drop a few cheesecakes at a time into the oil and fry for about three minutes, flipping over occasionally. Since the filling doesn't have any eggs, we really only need the pie crust to cook through- so as soon as it turns golden brown, you're good to go. Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain over a cooling rack or on a plate lined with paper towels. Let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.