Every year at Hanukkah we eat an abundance of fried foods.  We say we do this to commemorate the miracle of the oil.  Hmmm… I think it is a just a great excuse to eat all the yummy fried foods we try so hard to avoid throughout the year. I mean who wouldn’t want to eat fried latkes, fried doughnuts and anything else fried?

Having said that, the jelly donuts we usually get at our local shop are a little too big, too oily and too filled with artificial jelly. So, this year I am making a version of my own. My recipe will be based on an Italian donut called Zeppole. Since they are more donut hole sized, it’s easier to say yes to the kids and to my waistline.  Because we are making them at home, I can fill them with not only, better quality jam or jelly (think Bonne Marman), but I can also fill them with anything I want, like Nutella.  I can also dip them in chocolate or sprinkle them with sugar and/or cinnamon. They are super easy too!

The trick to making sure they are not doughy on the inside or overdone on the outside is your oil temperature.  You can use a candy thermometer for a little insurance. You want to keep the oil at 375°.  Be sure to check the temperature especially between batches and keep your batches small. After making these, I honestly recommend a deep fryer that you can set the temperature. It can be difficult to manage the temperature as you are trying to scoop dough and then fry, too. Sprinkle them with sugar or cinnamon when they first come out of the oil.  This way it sticks to the donuts.

I use a pastry bag to fill the donuts. The easiest way to do this is, once they are cool enough to handle, make an X in the top that goes almost all the way through. Then use a plain tip and pastry bag to squeeze in your desired filling, just don’t go crazy.

They look so pretty stacked on a festive plate and sprinkled with a fine dusting of powdered sugar.

Happy Hanukkah!

Zeppole
Print Recipe
Servings
3 3 donuts per person
Servings
3 3 donuts per person
Zeppole
Print Recipe
Servings
3 3 donuts per person
Servings
3 3 donuts per person
Ingredients
Servings: 3 donuts per person
Instructions
  1. In a heavy saucepan combine the sugar, butter, salt and water. Bring to a boil.
  2. Take pan off heat and gradually stir in flour.
  3. Put pan over a low heat and stir until it forms a ball. This really varies in time, but typically about 3 minutes.
  4. Transfer dough to a medium bowl and then using a hand mixer, beat in eggs one at a time. Be sure to completely incorporate each egg, before adding the next.
  5. Beat until batter it is thick and smooth.
  6. At this point you can fry immediately or cover and refrigerate, overnight.
  7. Pour enough oil into a large pan, I used a dutch oven, to give you a depth of about 2 inches. This is a lot of oil. You can save the oil for another cooking purpose. I'm going to use mine to fry latkes.
  8. Bring oil to a temp of 375°, using a candy or fry thermometer. It is REALLY important to maintain the 375° temperature. Your donuts will be brown on the outside and doughy on the inside if not.
  9. I use a small ice cream scoop but you can use tablespooons to form balls and then drop carefully into oil.
  10. Using a "spider" strainer, turn them once or twice so they cook evenly. They should cook in about 5 minutes.
  11. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with powdered sugar or a cinnamon/sugar mix, while they are still hot. This will make the sugar stick.
  12. You can serve as is or you serve with dipping sauces like chocolate or caramel.
  13. If you want to fill them, make an X with a small knife that goes almost all the way through. Using a round tip and pastry bag, slightly fill each donut, once they are cool. I used Nutella and strawberry jam.
Recipe Notes

 

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