Monday, December 7, 2020

SUFGANIYOT: Doughnuts for Chanukah!

Chanukah (Hannukah, Hanukah) starts Thursday night. Chanukkah is the Jewish Holiday of Lights that celebrates the rededication of the Temple after the Maccabees defeated the Syrian army in 165 BC and forced them out of Jerusalem. There was only enough oil for one day to rededicate the eternal flame, but the oil burned for eight days and nights. A miracle! So Hanukkah is celebrated for 8 days.

One of the special foods at Chanukah time is Sufganiyot (singular: sufganiyah): deep fried donut balls stuffed with jelly, or custard (for this blog that would be chocolate custard) and topped with sugar. Of course, you can also stuff them with dark chocolate! I didn't grow up with this tradition, but any food that's fried and stuffed with chocolate cream is good in my book. Sufganiyot are really an Israeli tradition, but they've gained popularity in the U.S. 

I've posted recipes in the past for Sufganiyot, but here's a new recipe that my late friend B.K. Stevens wrote in 2016 for Bonnie's actual donut is chocolate.

B.K. Stevens:

I know you've posted chocolate sufganiyot recipes before; I don't know if you've posted this one. It's very simple (no yeast), and the sufganiyot themselves are chocolate, rather than the filling. Unfortunately, I don't remember where I found the recipe--we've had it in our family cookbook for many years. I served these at a holiday party the other day, and people really seemed to enjoy them.

(Israeli Jelly Doughnuts—for Hanukkah) 

vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for coating sufganiyot after frying
2 eggs plus
1 egg yolk
3 1/2 cups flour (recipe says unbleached, but we’ve used regular)
1/4 cup cocoa
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk strawberry jelly (not jam or preserves) •

Combine 1/4 cup oil, 1 cup sugar, eggs, and egg yolk in bowl and mix with an electric mixer until fluffy.
Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir into oil mixture alternately with buttermilk. Heat 2 to 3 inches oil in heavy, deep skillet to 340 degrees.
Drop batter by tablespoons (we use a small cookie scoop) into hot oil and cook in batches until doughnuts are evenly fried, about 2 or 3 minutes per side. Do not crowd pan.
Drain on paper towels. Roll in remaining sugar.
Fill with strawberry jelly. (We use an inexpensive plastic condiment container, with the tip cut off halfway down to make it easier to get the jelly out.)
Makes about 24 sufganiyot.

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