Judy Rosenberg of Rosie's Bakery

I bow to no one in my love of doughnuts. Not the fancy-shmancy ones, mind you, but your basic, old-fashioned doughnutty doughnut that's crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside - like these doughnut holes. My family devours them in bulk at Chanukah, when tradition calls for doughnuts (for any fried food, actually) to commemorate the oil that miraculously kept the Temple's sacred light burning for eight days and nights. Even divine intervention wouldn't keep these doughnut holes around my house that long, so it's a good thing that they're quick to prepare.
 
Ingredients
1 1/2 quarts pure vegetable oil

 

The Coatings:
1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

The Batter:
1 cup all-purpose flour:
2/3 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large egg
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk at room temperature

1. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of a 4- or 5-quart saucepan placed over medium heat. Pour in the oil (it should be 3 to 4 inches deep) and heat until the oil reaches 375 to 380 degrees.
2. Prepare one or both coatings: Place the confectioners' sugar in a plastic bag. Place the granulated sugar and the cinnamon in another plastic bag, and shake (with the bag tightly closed) to mix thoroughly. Set the bags aside.
3. Sift both flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg together into a small bowl and set aside.
4. Using a whisk, blend the egg and sugar together in a medium-size bowl. Stir in the melted butter, vanilla, and buttermilk. 
5. Resift the flour mixture over the egg mixture, and using a rubber spatula, fold gently until mixed. 
6. Using a 1 1/2-inch diameter ice cream scoop, drop five level scoops of the batter, one at a time, into the oil and cook until they are crunchy and deep golden, 4 to 5 minutes. [Food editor’s note: I use a metal round measuring tablespoon and dip the spoon in the hot oil before filling – this allows the batter to slip off the spoon into the oil. Hold the spoon down low over the oil to avoid spatters.]
7. Using a slotted spoon, remove a doughnut hole from the oil and cut it in half. If the center seems gooey, the doughnut holes need to cook for another minute or two. Remove the doughnuts with the slotted spoon and place them on paper towels to drain. Continue frying the remaining batter in this fashion.
8. To coat the doughnut holes in the cinnamon-sugar mixture: About 1 minute after removing them from the oil, place one doughnut at a time in the bag and toss to coat. Return it to the paper towel to cool. 
9. To coat with the confectioners' sugar, allow the doughnut holes to cool completely. Then place them one by one in the bag and toss to coat.
10. These doughnuts should be eaten as soon as possible. They may be frozen, but do so as soon as possible after they are completely cool.
 
Makes about 20 doughnut holes
 
Variation: Cider Doughnuts (pareve)
Substitute 1/2 cup apple cider for the buttermilk and 1 tablespoon margarine for the butter, and add 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, and 3/4 cup finely chopped peeled apples to the batter.

If you like chocolate on your doughnuts, try the following easy glaze:
Heat 1/2 cup heavy cream in a saucepan until just below boiling. Add 4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, grated or chips. Remove pan from the heat, cover, and let sit for 10-15 minutes or until the chocolate is melted. Stir until smooth. Dip half of each doughnut hole in the glaze and place on a plate to set.

Judy Rosenberg is also the author of Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter Fresh Cream Sugar-Packed No-Holds-Barred Baking Book and Rosie’s Bakery Chocolate-Packed Jam-Filled Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book.