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The oil lasted 8 days. The donuts, not so much.

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As I was writing my first ever Thanksgivukkah menu, I realized that I was sorely lacking in the dessert category. In years past, our family has always picked up fresh sufganiyot* from our local kosher bakery in New York City. The tender yeast based puffs of dough were best eaten while still hot, the warm jelly (though cream filled was always my favorite) running down our forearms as we walked home with a box that would be empty by morning. But since we’ve moved to Philly 18 months ago I haven’t yet found any bakeries that will let you buy hot sufganiyot after 7 pm, which is prime donut eating time in our home.

I decided the tradition of eating hot donuts after dark was one that my family would continue on our own, late-night bakery or not. So last year I used my favorite sweet dough recipe with a few tweaks and filled the centers with strawberry jam. I quickly realized why I had been paying $4 per donut at that late-night bakery. Fresh donuts are a ton of work and you end up with a kitchen that looks like your kid is a local sheriff, with jelly in his squirt gun, using flour to dust for prints. But it was all worth it. Almost. Until I realized that I needed parve donuts to serve to friends after dinner.

This definitely threw a wrench in my planning. I thought I would take a look at the ingredients of my “instant” biscuits to get some ideas of how to make my usually dairy dough without all that dairy. Then it hit me: why not just use the biscuit dough?

The results for either recipe below are pretty darn good. I prefer the dairy version and will be serving them for breakfast Thanksgiving morning. The pumpkin addition seemed like an obvious one, but could be swapped for jelly after this once-in-a-lifetime holiday. Let us know which ones you end up making and how they turn out!


Parve Pumpkin Cream Sufganiyot
Makes about 20 donuts

For the donuts
2 cans parve ready to bake biscuits (in the dairy section)
Sugar for coating
2 qts Vegetable Oil

For the filling
1 12 oz. can pumpkin
1 12 oz. tub non-dairy whipped topping
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. each nutmeg and cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat oil in heavy pan over medium heat to 350°, or until a drop of dough floats when dropped in frying
Flatten biscuits to be approx.. 3 inches in diameter
Drop in 2-3 biscuits to hot oil and fry until golden brown on bottom, then flip, and fry until the other side is also golden. About 90 seconds per side.
Remove from oil and put into bowl of sugar, toss to coat. Set aside and allow to cool.
Repeat until all donuts are cooked.

In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, brown sugar and spices until thoroughly incorporated. Fold in whipped topping. Add vanilla and stir 10 more times.

To fill cooled donuts: Snip a corner from a zip-top bag and put in a piping tip. Fill bag with pumpkin cream. Using a small knife, stab each donut horizontally to make an opening just large enough for the piping tip to fit in. Hold the donut with one hand and place the tip into the opening and squeeze the bag with the other hand. Each donut should hold about 2 tablespoons of filling.

Dairy Pumpkin Cream Sufganiyot
Makes about 35 donuts

For the donuts
1 cup whole milk
1 package of yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 egg yolk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
2 2/3 c flour
Another ¼ c sugar

Sugar for coating
2 qts Vegetable Oil

For the filling
1 12 oz. can pumpkin
1 12 oz container whipping cream
½ c powdered sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. each nutmeg and cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

In a small bowl, heat the milk in the microwave 30 seconds. You want it to be just hot enough that you can feel the heat when you put your pinky in, but not too hot, about 105° to 110°. Add the teaspoon of sugar and stir. Sprinkle the yeast in and set aside. Do not stir. Wait about 5 minutes.

In a big bowl, sift in the flour and the rest of the sugar. Make a volcano shape (a mountain with a crater in the top).

Back to the small bowl, mix in the egg and melted butter to the yeast/milk.

Now pour the contents of the small bowl into the crater in your volcano. Use a wooden spoon and mix until there is no loose flour, about 3 minutes. The dough should be very sticky. Pour out onto a floured board and knead about 3 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the board. The dough should be smooth and elastic. Form into a ball.

Rinse and dry your large bowl, then coat the inside with butter. Coat your hands with butter and smooth over your ball of dough, then place it into the buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place. Let rise 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size.

Punch down the now enormous pillow of dough and knead again for 1 min. Roll dough to approx. ½ inch thick and cut our 3 inch circles. I use a drinking glass to do this. Place the circles onto a cookie sheet and cover again with plastic wrap (this keeps the dough from getting crusty) and allow to rise again, this time for 45 min.

While you wait, place a mixing bowl into the freezer to prep for whipping the cream.

Follow the same directions as above to cook and prep for filling.

punkincreamUsing the bowl from the freezer, whip the cream for 5 minutes, or until soft peaks form. Sift in powdered sugar and continue to whip just until you have stiff peaks, about 3 more minutes. (Be careful not to over whip, or you will end up with sweet butter.)

Mix remaining ingredients, then fold in whipped cream.

Use directions above to fill donuts.


By Ebony Goldsmith, Marketing and Communications Assistant