For the past 2 years I’ve done my Jewish friends and family a disservice by not sharing any Hanukkah-themed treats around the holidays on my blog. Santa hats, Christmas trees, and snowmen have captured my attention instead, but I still love latkes and can rock a mean dreidel. So this year, since Hanukkah fell during my winter break, I made sure to honor the Jews in my life with some Nutella filled donuts. Hanukkah celebrates the story of oil burning for eight nights instead of one, so a lot of the food surrounding the festival of lights is fried in oil. So today, on the 7th night of Hanukkah, I bring you fluffy, light, delicious donuts tossed in sugar and filled with Nutella. L’chaim!
I really loved the way these donuts turned out – the dough was easy to work with and yielded the fluffiest donuts I’ve made yet. I could have just left them plain, but I’ve been wanting to make filled donuts for awhile now, so I simply filled a pastry bag with some Nutella and used a large Bismark tip to fill each donut. I could have filled them with some pastry cream dyed blue to be really festive, but I figured a chocolatey surprise would be more appetizing than a bright blue one. But then again I’ve made green, yellow, and purple cupcakes so I’m not one to talk…
As always, be careful when deep frying – I burnt my hand, my nose, and my cheek last winter break making chocolate donuts so I know from experience! But every since my burning incident, I’ve been very cautious and escaped this frying endeavor burn-free. Maybe it was caution, maybe it was a Hanukkah miracle, but all I know is I’m glad I won’t be rocking a band-aid on my nose this New Year’s Eve.
Recipe adapted from Buns in My Oven
Yield: 20 small donuts
1 package (2-1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
2/3 cup milk, at room temperature
3-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1-1/3 cups sugar, divided
2 tsp salt
7 tbsp butter, at room temperature
Canola oil, for frying
Nutella, for filling
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the yeast and milk and allow the yeast to dissolve for 1 minute.
Add the flour, 1/3 cup of the sugar, salt, and eggs and mix on low for about 4 minutes to develop the dough.
Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, and continue mixing for 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove the dough and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 6-15 hours.
When dough is chilled, lightly flour a baking sheet and your work surface. Roll out the dough into a 12″ square about 1/2″ thick. I used a 2″ round biscuit cutter to cut out the donuts, but use whatever size you want. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet, cover in plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm spot for 2-3 hours or until doubled in height.
When ready to fry, heat 3″ of oil in a pot to 350 degrees. Line a plate with paper towels and put the remaining 1 cup of sugar in a small bowl.
Add the donuts to the hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pan. Fry on each side for about 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove donuts with a slotted spoon and transfer to the paper towel-lined plate to drain. When cool enough to handle, toss in sugar to coat and return donuts to tray to cool completely.
Fill pastry bag fitted with a Bismarck or round tip with Nutella and squirt about 1/4-1/3 of a cup of Nutella in each donut. Best enjoyed immediately.