I tried to resist. I really did. Even though my sister, who is a fantastic cook, has the cookbook, I shied away from Jamie Geller’s Quick & Kosher: Recipes from the Bride Who Knew Nothing.
I figured that I was not the target audience. I guess I figured wrong.
It was my mother who drew my attention to Ms. Geller’s article in The Jewish Press. My mom loved her Chanukah menu of spinach balls, crudites, hummus, pita chips, guacamole, charif, and macaroni salad (appetizers), and Caesar salad with herb croutons, ziti, spinach fettuccine, and sun-dried tomato crusted tilapia (main course), with sufganiyot as a dessert. So I gave my mom the recipes.
Flash forward: It is dinnertime and my husband and son keep asking when I am making the latkes and sufganiyot. I assume that either they are kidding or I can placate them with purchased donuts and frozen latkes. No.
I find potatoes and onions on the counter and my husband kindly offers to get the ingredients for the jelly donuts so that they will be ready in time for dinner. My son pulls up his stool to the counter, all ready to help. Right now.
I bring the potatoes and onions back down to the basement and bring up a box of mix. My son and I make the mix latkes. They are not so good. My son pushes them away and asks about the jelly donuts. I suddenly remember Jamie Geller and her recipe in The Jewish Press (also here with a picture, too).
I cut the recipe down and changed it a bit. I was going to just cut the recipe in half and use 8 ounces of yogurt, but I found a 6 ounce container of vanilla yogurt in the fridge, necessitating cutting the recipe down slightly more.
My son loved mixing together the ingredients. It was so easy: just dump and stir. They fried up nicely and I stuffed them with strawberry jelly. I let my son shake them up in a bag with powdered sugar. He and my husband were thrilled. They are not quite the same as yeast raised sufganiyot, but they were quite tasty.
Sufganiyot (Jelly Donuts)
6 ounces of vanilla yogurt (I bet lemon yogurt would be excellent)
1 Tbl. sugar
3/4 – 1 cup of flour (my son spilled a little of the flour, but it should have been a scant cup of flour)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/8 tsp. salt
Mix together the ingredients and let them rest while you heat up oil in a pan. The instructions say to let the batter rest, covered, for 15-20 minutes. I really don’t know why this is necessary. I just let the batter rest until the oil got hot. Jamie calls for heating 6 cups of oil in a 6 quart stockpot, but I used about 2-3 inches of oil in a 3 quart saucepan because I was making so few donuts. I also did not cover my pot while heating the oil.
How do you know the oil is hot enough? If you a deep frying or candy thermometer, the temperature will be 360 to 375 degrees. I waited until I saw the oil start to move under the surface or shimmer and then dropped in a drop of batter to see if it fried up right away. If the oil smokes, then it is too hot. Safflower oil is a good oil to use.
I made my donuts about half the size that Jamie suggests. I used a heaping teaspoon instead of a tablespoon to drop batter into the oil. I also needed to use a second spoon to scrape the batter off the first spoon. Fry the donuts until they get brown on the bottom and then flip them over. Continue to fry until the donuts are golden brown all over.
Drain the donuts on a paper towel lined plate. When they have cooled, cut a slit in the side and stuff them with strawberry jelly. Piping the jelly in in is best, but I had success just using a butter knife to shove in blobs of jelly. Put the donuts (just three at a time) in a bag with 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and shake until the donuts are dusted with the sugar.