Haunakah started Wednesday, which means it’s time to dust off your favorite Haunakah recipes. Because Haunakah celebrates the miracle of the oil, the holiday usually features fried foods – latkes, fried potato pancakes, are the food of choice in the United States, and sufganiyot, fried jelly doughnuts, are the popular treat in Israel.
Being a baker, I naturally gravitate to making sufganiyot – and, in fact, I did make them last year. But I’m not much of a deep fryer. I don’t have a fryer myself, and my attempts at frying the doughnuts in my four quart pot didn’t turn out so well – they were overcooked on the outside and barely cooked through.
This year, I spared myself the pain, and made sufganiyot muffins instead.
Doughnut muffins have been all the rage on the Internet for years, and now that I’ve made them, I understand why – they’re delicious. You take a bready, moist dough, flavor it with nutmeg, and bake it in muffins tins. Then, you brush the muffins with butter (or, in my case, dipped them in butter), and coat them in cinnamon sugar. Finally, fill them with the jam or preserve of your choice. I used a mixer berry jam that I made from all the fruit hogging precious space in my freezer – it was a tart, refreshing contrast to the sweet, buttery muffin.
Yes, these muffins aren’t fried in oil – they’re coated in butter – but there’s oil in the batter, and that’s enough for me. Now that I’ve tried sufganiyot muffins, I don’t think I’ll ever be tempted to fry mine again.
Makes 12 muffins
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
For the muffins:
¼ cup (4 oz) butter
¼ cup (4 fl oz) canola oil
½ cup (3.5 oz) sugar
⅓ cup (2.8 oz) dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
2 ⅔ cups (13.33 oz) AP flour
1 cup (8 fl oz) buttermilk
For the topping and filling:
2 oz butter, melted
½ cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup (2 fl oz) jam or preserves (of your choice)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, oil, sugar, and dark brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined. Add the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.
Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk, in three additions (ending with the dry). Scoop or pipe the batter into well-greased muffin tins – each tin should be about ⅔ full.
Bake for 20 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through, until lightly browned. Let cool in the pans until cool enough to handle – then remove. (If you have trouble removing the muffins from the tins, run a knife or offset around the edge to loosen. Or, turn the pan over and rap on the counter to pop them out).
To finish muffins:
Mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Lightly brush the muffins with the melted butter (or dip in the melted butter), and roll in the cinnamon sugar. Fill a piping bag with jam and fit with a medium round tip. Plunge the tip into the center of the muffin and fill with jam. Repeat with remaining muffins.