Eating fried foods is, of course, one of Hanukkah's delicious traditions. Sufganiyot, or jelly doughnuts, can be given out as party favors when arranged in cupcake liners and packaged in cellophane bags. These are sealed with double-sided tape and finished with patterned pastel paper. If you're making the nondairy version, reduce the amount of salt to 3/4 teaspoon.
- 1 envelope (1 scant tablespoon) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm whole milk or soy milk (110 degrees)
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, melted and cooled
- Vegetable-oil cooking spray
- About 6 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 cups raspberry jam
- Blue sanding sugar, for decorating
Combine yeast, sugar, and 1 cup milk. Let stand until foamy, about 8 minutes.
Whisk flour and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add yeast mixture, eggs, and butter, and beat on medium-low speed until dough is soft but not sticky, about 3 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer dough to a medium bowl coated with cooking spray, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down the dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough a few times, and roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rest for 5 minutes. Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out rounds, and transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet. Reroll scraps, and cut out. Cover rounds with kitchen towel, and let rise slightly in a warm, draft-free place for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a pot until it reaches 375. Line a wire rack with paper towels. Working in batches of 4 or 5, add doughnuts to oil, and fry, turning once, until golden and puffed, about 1 minute per side. Using a slotted spoon, place doughnuts on rack to cool.
Place a wire rack on parchment or a baking sheet. Whisk together confectioners' sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons milk in a shallow bowl. Spoon jam into a pastry bag fitted with a plain 3/8-inch tip (such as Ateco #804). Pierce a hole in the side of a doughnut with the tip, and squeeze in jam to fill (filled doughnuts will feel heavy). Place on rack. Repeat.
Holding filled doughnuts by their sides, gently dip tops into icing and return to rack. Immediately sprinkle with sanding sugar. Doughnuts are best when served immediately, but they can be stored in airtight containers overnight.