I love donuts! Lately I have been trying to watch what what I eat, but I love donuts. And what is Hanukkah (or is it Chanukah) without sufganiyot, the delicious filled donut treats? Jews traditionally eat lots of foods fried in oil on Hanukkah, to commemorate the small flask of oil that was found in the temple and lasted for eight days rather than just one. So I figured everything in moderation and settled on filled and iced beignets (pronounced Ben-yays).
Beignets are New Orleans’s answer to the donut hole (or for Dunkin Donuts fans, the Munchkin). Beignets are usually just coated in powdered sugar but to make me feel a little better about myself I wanted to incorporate some fruit, so I could at least pretend it had some nutritional value. The most common fruit flavor for filling Hanukkah sufganiyot is raspberry jam, but it I am not a huge fan and the seeds get stuck in my teeth. I really like the combination of lemon and blueberry (especially when you add some sugar). I find the tartness and sweetness balance each other out nicely. The blue and yellow also provide nice visual contrast, so your eyes and your stomach get a nice treat.
Beignets are great with your morning coffee or as midnight snack. Is there ever a wrong time for a donut? And because they are small, you can eat a handful and not feel too guilty.
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A tasty New Orleans treat perfect for your Chanukah party
- 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup (Soy) Milk
- 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Envelope Active Dry Yeast About 2 1/4 tsp
- 1 Large Egg
- 1/2 Cup Shortening Softened
- 1 Tsp Kosher Salt
- 4 Cups Frozen Blueberries
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1/4 Cup Corn Starch
- 1/4 Cup Cold Water
- 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1.5 Cups Powdered Sugar
Warm your (soy) milk in a pot or the microwave to about 110°F. It should be warm but not hot. Ideally use a thermometer. Pour the (soy) milk in to a mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer and add the yeast. Stir to combine. Allow the yeast to bloom until it stars to foam.
Add the flour, salt, and the sugar to the bowl with the (soy) milk and yeast. Stir to combine.
Ad the eggs and shortening. Using a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment of your mixer, mix until a smooth ball is formed. It will take a little while for the dough to come together, especially if you mix by hand. If the dough looks a little dry you can add a little more (soy) milk, but I would do this as a last resort. If you do add more (soy) milk, I would do it one teaspoon at a time.
Once kneaded, allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least two hours and up to 24 hours.
In a small bowl combine the corn starch and water. Stir until there are no more dry pockets of corn starch. Set aside.
Add the blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice to a medium sized pot. Place over medium heat, stirring regularly until the sugar is dissolved and the blueberries burst.
Add the cornstarch and water mixture to the blueberries and stir until the mixture thickens. Set aside to cool.
Add enough oil to fill your pot or Dutch oven about halfway and place it oven medium heat.
While the oil is heating, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into 2 inch squares. A pizza cutter is a great tool for this.
Once the oil reaches 350°F (use your thermometer), fry the beignets in small batches until golden brown, flipping them half way through to make sure they cook evenly on each side. This could be about 3 minutes on each side but be sure to stay next to them and monitor the cooking. Keep an eye on the beignets and the oil temperature as they can overcook easily. Place on a wire rack to cool.
Place the powdered sugar in a bowl and slowly add the 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, one at a time. Stir until the icing comes together as a thick, glossy liquid. Do not add all of the lemon juice at once as you may not need it all to achieve the desired consistency.
Load your piping bag with the blueberry filling. Push the piping bag ¾ the way in to the beignet. and carefully move the tip side to side to create a pocket. Slowly squeeze the piping bag to fill the beignet, retracting it as you go. Drizzle the beignets with the lemon icing and enjoy.
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Checkout some more of our Hanukkah recipes: