It’s sufganiyot season, and there are few things that enthrall me as much as legitimate, cultural/religious reasons to eat copious amounts of freshly fried doughnuts.
Sufganiyot, or doughnuts, are traditionally round, fried, filled with raspberry jam and dusted with powdered sugar. But in Israel, much like here in the United States, wonderful diverse flavors increasingly take over in abundance each year. I love seeing photos from friends in Israel chronicling the beautiful displays of sufganiyot.
This year, Christmas Eve and the first night of Hanukkah fall on Dec. 24, so I wanted to create a mashup and celebrate with one glorious, spiced hybrid: eggnog doughnuts. I added dark, sweet rum to the glaze, but of course you can leave it off and just use store-bought eggnog or even plain milk.
For the dough:
2 Tbs. dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup plus1 tsp. sugar
21/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. butter, softened
Vegetable oil for frying
For the glaze:
11/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. dark rum (optional)
2-3 Tbs. eggnog
For the filling:
1 package vanilla pudding mix
Prepare the vanilla pudding according to directions on the box. Place in refrigerator to set and chill.
To make the dough: In a small bowl combine yeast and warm water. Sprinkle sugar on top and mix lightly. Allow to sit until foamy, around 10 minutes.
When yeast mixture is ready, in a large bowl combine it with flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, eggs and butter, using a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms.
On a floured surface, knead dough until it is smooth, shiny and bounces back when touched, around 8-10 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and allow to rise 11/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
To assemble: On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 21/2 -inch round cutter or glass, cut rounds. You may have to roll out the dough a few times. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise another 20-25 minutes.
Heat oil in a pot on medium heat until a thermometer measures 370 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, raise the heat to low-medium heat and test one of the doughnuts. If the oil immediately starts bubbling and the doughnut begins browning, it is the right temperature. If it doesn’t bubble at all, heat needs to be higher. If the oil splatters or the doughnut starts browning too quickly, heat needs to be turned down.
Using a slotted spoon, place 3 to 4 doughnuts into the oil. Allow to fry on each side, around 40 seconds or until golden brown. Remove from oil and place onto a plate lined with paper towel. Once excess oil has been removed, place doughnuts on a drying rack to cool.
When all the doughnuts have been fried and cooled, begin to fill.
Fill pastry bag with prepared vanilla pudding. If you don’t have a tip, you can just snip the corner of the pastry bag with a scissor.
Using a wooden skewer or toothpick, make a hole in the side of each doughnut. Fit the pastry tip into a hole, pipe about 2-3 Tbs. worth of pudding in each doughnut.
In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners sugar, rum (if using), nutmeg and 2 Tbs. eggnog. If the glaze is too thick, add additional eggnog, 1 tsp. at a time. Dip each doughnut in the eggnog glaze. Allow to set.
Fresh doughnuts are best eaten the same day they are fried.