Said to have originated in 10th century Sicily, arancini are fried rice balls. They are typically made with rice, cheese, and savory spices, coated with bread crumbs and deep-fried. They are often served with marinara sauce on the side. Not this time. Finding myself with more than enough rice for dinner, I opted for a dessert version. I came up with the idea of using rice pudding with raisins and using crushed vanilla wafer cookies as the "breadcrumbs." Did it work? Oh yes, it worked. They are delicious. I coated some with sugar, and some with caramel and whipped cream. These would also be delicious served for brunch with maple syrup or honey. Here's the recipe!
- 3 cups cooked (cooled rice)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup raisins
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 egg yolk (save the egg white)
- 2 eggs (plus egg white from separated yolk, lightly beaten)
- 2 cups vanilla wafers (crushed but not pulverized)
- Peanut Oil for frying
- Butter for your hands
- Powdered Sugar
- Whipped Cream
- Add rice, sugar, raisins, cinnamon, vanilla, heavy cream and one egg yolk in medium bowl. Stir to mix. Refrigerate until well chilled. Put the vanilla wafers in a zipper bag and crush with a rolling-pin or mallet. You want some texture, so leave some small pieces. Place the crushed cookies in a shallow bowl
- With a fork, beat the extra egg white and the 2 whole eggs in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
- Pour enough peanut oil into a medium heavy bottomed pan to 2" up the sides. Heat on medium high heat until a tiny drop of water sizzles when dropped in the oil.
- Rub butter on your hands to keep the rice from sticking. Don't skip this step. You'll be a mess! Using a small scoop gather a mound of rice about the size of a ping-pong ball. Gently roll the rice into a ball in your buttered hands. Place on a wire rack until all balls are formed. One at a time, dip the rice balls into the egg then roll in the cookie crumbs. Continue until all are coated. Drop three at a time into the hot oil with a spider spoon. Let the rice balls fry until lightly golden brown. Remove from heat and place on paper towels to drain. Allow to cool before garnishing. You can eat them plain, roll them in sugar, or go all out with powdered sugar caramel sauce and whipped cream. They would also be tasty served with maple syrup or honey.