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Easy Nutella Sufganiyot for a Festive (and Delicious) Hanukkah

Like most festive holidays, Hanukkah is celebrated with traditional foods. Latkes (potato pancakes) are most commonly associated with this holiday, but my favorite treat? Sufganiyot.

Sufganiyot are round doughnuts that have been fried in oil and dusted with confectioners' sugar. Why do we eat them? Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Jews in a war against the Syrian-Greeks. To commemorate the occasion, a candelabra was to be lit in the reclaimed temple. There was only enough oil to last one night, but miraculously, the candelabra burned for eight nights. This is why we celebrate Hanukkah for eight nights, and eat foods that have been fried in oil.

Sufganiyot are traditionally filled with jelly but the sky's truly the limit! I've chosen Nutella (because, well, Nutella), but dulce de leche, vanilla custard or chocolate ganache would all work beautifully.

And if you're reluctant to undertake the process of making and rolling out dough and then frying it up, I've got the answer to your prayers:

Yes, refrigerated biscuit dough makes amazing doughnuts that are as close to the real thing as you can get – in a fraction of the time!

This is particularly welcome during the hectic holiday season – but I suspect that once you try this technique you'll be making these doughnuts all year round!

Recipe: Nutella Sufganiyot

Yields: 10 doughnuts

Ingredients:

  • 7.5 ounce tube refrigerated biscuit dough
  • ½ cup Nutella
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • confectioners' sugar

Directions:

  1. Heat two inches of oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat till it reaches a temperature of 350 degrees. (See note below for how to heat oil without a thermometer!)
  2. While oil is heating, separate the biscuits and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Keep in fridge until ready to fry.
  3. Working with five biscuits at a time, gently drop into the oil and fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds to a minute. Use two forks to gently turn the biscuits and fry until golden brown on the other side. Transfer to a rack set over a baking sheet to drain.
  4. Place the Nutella in a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip.
  5. Poke a hole in the side of each doughnut using a paring knife, chopstick or wooden skewer. Pipe a bit of Nutella into each doughnut and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Note: No thermometer? No problem! Place an unpopped popcorn kernel into the oil. When it "pops," the oil is ready!

Images via Sheri Silver

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