Lemon-Ricotta Fritters with Lemon Curd: Girl Scout Cookie Showdown

What better use for an extra case of Girl Scout cookies than a Chow Bella Showdown? In years past we've challenged our contributors to make something delicious out of Thin Mints and Trefoils. This time: Savannah Smiles. Stay tuned for more recipes and a decision from our "judge," web editor Eric Tsetsi.

Everything tastes better deep fried. At least that's the thinking that led me to the idea to make Savannah Smiles fritters. I subbed cookie crumbs for half the flour in the dough and tossed the hot fritters in even more cookie crumbs and powdered sugar. Homemade lemon curd squirted in the middle of the hot dough added even more lemony flavor.

The end result? Awesome homemade donut holes that were super moist thanks to the ricotta, while also being crispy, airy, and packed with enough lemon zip to make your mouth pucker. Best of all, the fritters tasted just like little Savannah Smiles but with a pillow-y texture that had me floating on cloud nine.

Cookie Crumb Fritters in 10 Easy Steps:

Step 1: Track down the venerable Martha's recipe for Lemon-Ricotta Fritters with Lemon Curd. Martha can do little wrong when it comes to baking, and this recipe is no exception, further confirming my suspicions that she's an android.

Step 2: Review the technique and halve the recipe. Little lemony zeppoles filled with tart curd are better than her proposed baseball-sized fritters. Halving the recipe left me with about 25 little zeppoles.

Step 3: Beat the ever living crap out of an entire box of Savannah Smiles with a meat tenderizer. It is okay to eat a couple for "quality control" purposes prior to their pulverization.

Step 4: Substitute half the flour in Droid Martha's recipe with lemony cookie crumbs. I ditched the all-purpose flour and kept the cake flour because I have a box of the stuff that's been gathering dust in my pantry for months.

Step 5: Chance salmonella and taste the batter. (Live dangerous, you rebel.) If it's not lemony enough (and it wasn't for my liking) add a couple extra tablespoons of lemon juice. I ended up using about double the amount of lemon juice and zest.

Step 6: Proceed with the recipe like normal. Use a large spoon to plop the fritter dough into hot oil, or drizzle in dough to make funnel cake-style fritters. Both taste amazing. Also, feel free to eat your mistakes. (Or your successes, again, for "quality control" purposes.)

Step 7: Toss the hot-out-of-the-fryer fritters in the remaining cookies crumbs so they get a bit of extra crunch and cookie flava.

Step 8: Fill each fritter with a hefty squirt of lemon curd. We used a disposable pastry bag and a large circular tip. Or serve the curd for dipping.

Step 9: If you end up curdling the eggs in your curd, go buy some from the supermarket instead. We can't DIY everything, Droid Martha. Some of us require sleep.

Step 10: Shove lemon-filled donut holes in your gob until you're covered in gooey curd and a hefty dusting of cookie crumbs. Savannah Smiles live up to their happy little name!

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Erica O'Neil