Thursday, December 2, 2010

Diary of a Secret Housewife: Baked Sufganiyot

Every once in a while, I'm reminded of how fitting it is that I became Jewish.  I mean, what you have in Judaism is a culture that celebrates one of its most important holidays by frying everything in sight.

That is awesome.

But every year there comes a point in which even the greasiest lover of grease among us becomes a little bit repulsed by things fried.  That point usually comes after standing in front of the stove for hours frying latke after latke until every surface in the kitchen -- and every bit of one's clothing, skin, and being -- is coated with grease.  And when you get to that point when you feel like you've been immersed in one big fryolator, the very thought of heating up one more vat of oil makes you want to run out the kitchen screaming.

That is when you should make these baked donuts.



Sufganiyot are Israeli donut balls, commonly filled with jelly (though there are lots of different yummy fillings nowadays), that are traditionally eaten during Hanukkah.  They are usually deep-fried, but I came across this recipe on Baking Bites that calls for baking them.  The result is a mini-muffin (or donut hole) that tastes a lot like a sufganiyot or a chewier, denser cinnamon-sugar donut.


Not being fried, the sufganiyot came out of the oven a bit paler than I expected.  But whereas the baked version doesn't visually compare with the original, taste and texture-wise, it came a lot closer than I expected.  In fact, the cinnamon-sugar topping gives it a crunch that is textually similar to a fried donut.

The following recipe is adapted from Baking Bites.  My changes and additions are in italics.


Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp orange zest

2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup cinnamon (or more, if desired)
2/3 cup red jam (raspberry, strawberry, etc.)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray or vegetable oil.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, beat together sugar and egg until light in color. Beat in vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Gradually add in flour mixture in two or three additions, alternating with additions of buttermilk.  Then add in the zest, mixing until all the ingredients have come together.

Divide batter evenly into prepared mini muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full (approx 1 tbsp batter).
Bake for 9-11 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Place melted butter in a small bowl. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and place the mixture for rolling in a small bowl or deep-sided plate.  


Remove donuts from pan, dip the tops in melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place on a cooling rack to allow sugar to set.

When donuts are cooled, fit a pastry bag with small round pastry tip. Place jam into pastry bag. Poke a small hole in the side (or bottom) of each donut with the pastry tip and pipe a small amount of jam into the center of each donut (approx 1 tsp).

Serve immediately.

4 comments:

BigAppleNosh December 3, 2010 at 10:59 AM  

Yum! I hadn't heard of sufganiyot until a few years ago - I had a dulce de leche one, yum! I'd love to try making them; thanks for the recipe!

Karen December 5, 2010 at 4:34 PM  

I have been a fan of yours for a while - but you have outdone yourself this time *bowing* - this was the PERFECT end to our Friday night fry-feast (potato-sweet potato latkes, spinach-leek latkes, breaded cauliflower). In addition to jam, I filled some with leftover chocolate cream cheese & lemon curd that I had left over from the previous week's dessert. Thank you!


Karen
Ramat Gan, Israel

Mrs. Hot Cocoa December 5, 2010 at 6:05 PM  

@ BigAppleNosh: Dulce de leche sounds awesome!

@ Karen: Aw, thanks! ;-) Chocolate cream cheese sounds awesome as a filling. I would have loved to have been at your dinner!

Michal December 8, 2012 at 3:32 PM  

These were great at the first candle tonight and very cute looking! Thanks for this healthy alternative. Definitely a keeper!
Michal, Tel Aviv

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