Crispy and Silky English Donuts

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I was talking to my friend Rivky Manies, author of the cookbook “Recipes Unplugged”, a superb and handy recipe collection, that uses no machinery (other than an oven or stove top) and asked her about her favorite donut recipe;

Rivky, was thrilled to share her recipe with me as she had made it her mission many years ago to find the “perfect” donut recipe to compare to those from her youth. She says that after living in the States to close to 20 years, she can safely say that no donut can beat the “British” donuts!!

“Let me save your bloggers all the time and effort and they can go straight to the winning donut recipe that truly surpasses any other that I have come across, they are perfection with a crispy outside layer and a silky soft interior!”

The trick to perfection is to simply follow the directions EXCACTLY as shown below and you will succeed every time!

Leave plenty of time to allow dough to rise! This is NOT a last minute recipe (but sooooo worth it!).

Tip: Of course fresh is best, however these freeze well, defrost in microwave or leave to defrost and warm slightly in oven before eating.

 Crispy and Silky Doughnuts
  • 2 (7g) packages active dry yeast
  • 4 Tbsp  lukewarm water
  • 1 ½  cups lukewarm milk (I use soy milk)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 ½ cups oil (for deep frying)

For Glazed donuts:

  • 1 stick margarine
  • 2 cups confectioner sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 T  hot water or as needed

For Jelly donuts:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 container raspberry donut jelly or jelly of your choice

 Directions:

  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand 10-15 minutes or until foamy. Do not mix!

2.Using your mixer, mix  together ,half of the flour (3 cups),yeast mixture, butter, salt, eggs, sugar and milk on low speed for a few minutes until  combined. Beat in remaining flour a little at a time, until dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place dough into a greased bowl (I leave it in mixer bowl) and set it covered in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 45 minutes – 1 hour.

Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains.

3.Turn the dough out onto a floured surface,and gently roll out to ½ inch thickness. Tip:For easier rolling roll 5 times pick up entire dough then rotate slightly clockwise (or anticlockwise !) roll out 5 more times and continue until correct thickness.

4.Cut with a Donut Cutter.

5. Place donuts onto a greased/lined baking sheet and allow to rise again until double in size.

Cover loosely with a cloth.

6. Heat oil in a deep fryer or very large heavy frying pan until it is hot enough  to sizzle when something is placed in it (a small piece of carrot is good to experiment with and prevents burning without altering taste). Turn down heat to medium/high. Slide donuts into the pot using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as soon as they rise up to the surface. Fry donuts on each side until light golden brown.

For Glazed donuts:

Melt 1 stick butter/margarine in a pan over medium heat, stir in confectioner’s sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in 1Tbsp of hot water at a time until the icing is thin, but not watery. Dip donuts into the glaze while still hot, and place aside to cool and set.

For Jelly Donuts:

Dip doughnuts into 2 cups of sugar while still hot. Using a seringe, (I use the one used for medicine!) fill with jelly until the top (or less depending how much jelly you like in your donuts!)

Taking the tip of the syringe, place it well inside the side of the doughnut and push down to expell jelly.Remove syringe and immediately push down into sugar again to stop jelly oozing.

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Rainbow Band Stand

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Here’s yet another activity to keep your children entertained over Hanukkah.

With all the Rainbow Loom craze going on, I figured that loom bands
would certainly be the perfect idea to keep the children busy at your Hanukkah party.In honor of Hanukkah, I set up the Rainbow Band Stand to look like a menorah.

Directions:

Arrange different color loom bands in 8 shot glasses. For the shamash, I used pencils(also in a shot glass), as  lately I have noticed  many children using good old pencils to create different styles with the  bands.

Have fun and come back again for some more exciting ideas.

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18 Great Hanukkah Activities

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One of the high”lights” of Hanukkah is the opportunity to get together with friends and family. With eight days of Hanukkah (and lots of time off from school for the children) many of us find ourselves doing lots and lots of entertaining. Of course there are the traditional Hanukkah activities. However, I have always been on the lookout for new and exciting Hanukkah themed activities that always add so much to the holiday spirit.

Below is a  list that I have compiled over the years.

Hope you have a very happy and enjoyable Hanukkah with your family and friends!

All of the jars are placed in one area. Put a paper near each jar for everyone to write down their guess. (Obviously, the closest is the winner.)

This year, I plan on filling a jar with Loom Rubber Bands.

( BTW- I cant believe how cheap the rubber bands are on Amazon.)

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Play it “Right” on Hannukah Night!

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Here is a Hanukkah game that is sure to keep all players laughing and giggling. My sister came up with this idea a few years ago, and it is always a blast to play.I hope that you will enjoy this game as much as my family does.

Object: Hannukah fun!

Number of players: 2 or more

Ages: 5-105

Supplies: One wrapped gift per player and this “right-left” story printed out

Game play:

Players sit around the table or in a circle on the floor, each holding a wrapped package.

No peeking!

The caller reads the right-left story slowly and clearly.

Each time the word “right” is read, each player passes their package to the person on their right. When the word “left” is read, each package is passed to the left. Continue the story in this manner, passing the gifts back and forth. Young children will definately need the help of the adult cheering squad. Giggling adult players may also get confused. At the end of the story, each player opens and keeps the gift that they are holding.

THE RIGHT LEFT STORY:

Many years ago, the Greeks ruled over Israel. They made harsh decrees against the Jews; things were certainly not all right. They marched right into the Beit Hamikdash and left nothing alone. Right away they ruined everything; they even put a pig right on the Mizbe’ach. They tried to get the Jews to be just like them. Some Jews really left the Torah. But most Jews continued to do all the Mitzvot right. They left their homes and went right into the caves in the forest and learned Torah. (That was surely the right thing to do!)  When they heard the Greeks coming, they started to play dreidel. When the Greeks left, the Jews went right back to learning Torah.

The Maccabim called Mi Lashem Eilai. Many Jews left their homes and got together to fight. They said, if we do the right thing and keep all the Mitzvot, Hashem will win the war for us (right away!).

After the Jews won the war, they went right back to the Beit Hamikdash. They cleaned up the mess, but could not find the right oil. They looked high and low, to the right and to the left, and finally found there was a little oil left. So they lit the Menorah (it was the right thing to do!) and assumed it would last for only one day.However,the next day  they saw that the Menorah was still lit- there was still oil left for the next night and the next. (Alright!!!)

To remember this miracle, we light the Menorah for eight nights. The Menorah stands at the window, or on the left side of the door with the Mezuzah on the right. On the first night, we light one candle on the right. The next night we light two candles going from left to right.

There is nothing left for me to “right” so I will end this story right now!

ENJOY!

Colorful Chocolate Dreidels

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These colorful and cheerful  Chocolate  Dreidel Pops, which really do spin, are sure to be a big hit throughout Chanukah.

Supplies:

Directions:

  1. Begin by melting your chocolate in a double boiler, microwave or a Melting Pot. I personally enjoy using  a Melting Pot. I often end up burning the chocolate in the microwave and with a double boiler, there is always that chance of getting water in the chocolate.With the melting pot, it can sit on the counter for hours keeping the chocolate melted and ready to use.
  2. Pour the melted Wonder melts into the molds and allow to set  for about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cut   sticks with a strong pair of scissors (approximately 2“).
  4. Place the sticks in the center of each mold.
  5. Place in freezer until completely set.
  6. Remove the dreidels from the molds.

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Hanukkah Party Menorah Contest

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Each year by our family Hanukkah party, aside from the standard routine, we try to bring a new activity to keep it exciting and fun for the children and adults alike.

Last years addition (which was a huge hit) was a Menorah Contest.

This is how it worked:

We asked every family coming to the party to create a “menorah” made of something original. It didn’t have to be “usable” to light with, but it had to look like a “Kosher” menorah (8 + a shamash, properly aligned, etc).

It was amazing to see what original and diverse ideas each of the families came up with.

At the party, the menorahs were prominently displayed. At the end, we raffled them all off for each of the families to take home and enjoy!

TIP: You can give a budget for the menorah.

In addition to the fun this added to the party, everyone agreed that the best part was the excitement of thinking, preparing, and proudly showing off their own original menorah.

Here is a poem you can send to all participants.

We’re planning a Hannukah party menorah display
Each guest brings a menorah and takes one on their way
Have fun as you dream of just the right thing
That you would like to use for menorah building
You’ll need something useful, edible, or pretty; times 8
With something for the shamash and then you’ll create
A centerpiece menorah which does not need to be lit
But does need your originality, your care, and your wit
Keep in mind as you decide and prepare
That it should be a gift you’ll be proud to share
Set it up securely so it can travel to and from the event
And be worth the time and the money that you will have spent
So light your creativity on fire, send your imagination spinning
As you prepare a menorah that’s sure to be award winning!

Here are some sample menorahs:

The Pez Menorah

For this menorah, the Pez wrappers were mod podged onto a pieace of wood.

The Toothbrush Menorah

These toothbrushes were from Amazing Savings (4/$1.00)

The “Scent”sational Menorah

The Chanukah Gelt menorah

The Re”marker”able Menorah

http://www.estherodesign.com/the-remarkerable-menorah/

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The Re”marker”able Menorah

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No more dried out markers for you with this Re”marker”able Menorah!

What a genius idea!

For this menorah, marker covers are set in Plaster of Paris, creating a fantastic marker organizer.You can be sure you wont ever lose a marker cover again!

Packaged together with a cute coloring book, this can make a wonderful Hanukkah gift. Fun for children of all ages to create, this concept can be used in myriad projects throughout the year.

Supplies:

  •  Plaster of Paris
  • Markers
  • Plastic drawer organizer (I used a 9”x 3”x 2-5/8” from Target)
  • Disposable container  and plastic spoon for mixing Plaster of Paris

 

Directions:

  1. Remove the caps from the markers.
  2. Mix 3 cups of Plaster of Paris and water according to the manufacturer’s directions. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Pour the mixture directly into the plastic drawer organizer.

Insert the caps into the Plaster of Paris, making sure they are standing straight up. The covers should be covered approximately ¾ of the way.

Place in a safe place and allow to dry.

When the Plaster of Paris is set, place markers in caps.

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J Create Magazine

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I’m so honored to be a part of the first ever Jewish craft magazine, J CREATE .

This online magazine is the brainstorm the very talented  Abbey Wollin.Drawing from the creativity of a variety of gifted contributors, this magazine brings together a plethora of ideas perfect for everyone in the family.From recipes, to table decor, crafts and more you are sure to find something to enhance your Hanukkah, fall and winter.

Take a look and enjoy the world of J CREATE!

Hanukkah Gelt Necklaces

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Gelt Necklaces-where style and tradition meet!

Standing at the Paskez booth at Kosherfest last week, I noticed chocolate Chanukah Gelt in a variety of colorful wrappers.

Always on the lookout for Chanukah party ideas, keepsakes, and crafts, I realized that there was potential for a great craft. Mimicking the Susan  B. Anthony necklace,  I found out that these colorful gelt coins, when paired with a matching chain, make an adorable necklace! They can be made very basic and simple with just string, or for a more detailed activity, you can  create the necklace chain as well, using Jump Rings.
Along this concept,another fun idea is to make keychains for the boys.Either way everyone will walk away from your Chanukah party with sweet memories!

Supplies:

Choose one of the following for a chain:

Directions:

  1. Spread the bail so that it fits over the chocolate coin.
  2. Pinch the bail onto the chocolate coin and thread the chain through the top of the bail.

If you are using the jump rings, simply connect the pieces and attach to the bail.

For an added touch, place the necklace in a small gift box.

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Edible Jello Menorah

Here’s another idea for these sleek looking shot glasses that I used to create the pearl hanukkah-candy-menorah/ . As with the candies, they create simple, yet striking (and certainly sweet) centerpieces for your Chanukah parties!

Striped Jello Menorah

With a couple of simple steps you can create eye-catching striped jello “candles”. You’ll find that not only are the results a conversation piece, but each step fun and intriguing as you add each layer one by one. For best results use Kolatin® Jello, as it congeals a perfect texture for the tilts. Additionally its colors will not “bleed” one into the other.  When purchasing the shot glasses, stick with something simple. The simpler the glass, the more dramatic the projects will look.

I am honored to have been asked to join the first ever Hanukkah Blog Party, hosted by Leah of Cook Kosher and Miriam of Overtime Cook.

It’s traditional on Hanukkah to eat fried treats, most notably donuts and latkes, and we’ve got a fabulous array of Hanukkah themed recipes, treats and crafts from Jewish bloggers all over the world! Scroll down for links to all of the delicious treats.

 Supplies:

  • 1 box lime Kolatin® Jello
  • 1 box raspberry or strawberry Kolatin® Jello

(I added in a couple of drops of blue food coloring to make a purple color.)

  • 1 box orange Kolatin® Jello
  • cupcake tray
  • 9 shot glasses
  • glass tea light holder
  • narrow tray (optional)

 Directions

Make the first color jello following directions on the box. Pour first layer of jello into your glasses filling it approximately a third of the way. Once each glass is filled evenly, it’s time to tilt your glasses. Place  glasses  in a cupcake pan being careful that each jello is tilted in the same direction and angle.

Place jellos inside refrigerator and allow to jell.  Repeat step one using a new flavor of jello and adjusting the tilt of each jello in your cupcake pan accordingly.

Make your last layer using new flavor of jello and refrigerate in an upright position.

To assemble the Menorah:

Line up all the shot glasses in a neat row (place on tray if desired). For the “Shamash”, raise the center glass by placing it on a glass tea light holder (turned upside down).

                                                 GIVEAWAY CLOSED!!!

To help get everyone into party mode, we have a bunch of fabulous new cookbooks to giveaway! Leave a comment on this post for your chance to win one of:

  • 2 copies of Susie Fishbein’s new Kosher By Design Cooking Coach (sponsored by Artscroll)
  • 2 copies of Leah Schapira’s  Fresh and Easy Kosher Cooking (sponsored by Artscroll)
  • 2 copies of Esther Deutch’s CHIC Made Simple (sponsored by the author)
Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on Sunday, December 16th. Limit one entry per person per blog, so visit the other blogs for extra chances to win!
Prizes can only be shipped within the US. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address in order to qualify.
How to enter: Leave a comment on this post of what your favorite Hanukkah activity or family tradition is.
This is the second of many fabulous Holiday Blog Parties. If you would like to be added to the mailing list to participate in future parties, please email holidayblogparties@gmail.com
Stop by the other blogs and check out these Chanukah Themed Recipes:
Latkes:
Jamie from Joy of Kosher made Zucchini Latkes with Tzatziki
Susan from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Squash and Potato Latkes
Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Ruby Red Beet Latkes with Cumin
Nechamah from TIforOA Food Ideas made Healthy Oatmeal Latkes
Liz from The Lemon Bowl made Traditional Potato Latkes
Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food made (I Can’t Believe They’re Crispy!) Baked Latkes
Laura from Mother Would Know made Three Variations of Sweet and Savory Latkes
Sarah from Crispy Bits and Burnt Ends made Kimchee Latkes
Shulie from Food Wanderings made Baked Panko Sweet Potato Leek Latkes
Donuts and Desserts:
Miriam from Overtime Cook made Shortcut Cannoli with Chocolate Mousse Filling
Leah from Cook Kosher made 5 Minute Donuts
Estee from The Kosher Scoop made Tropical Fruit Fritters
Melinda from Kitchen-Tested made Sweet Steamed Buns
Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat made Homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Gelt
Avidan from Baking It Up As I Go Along made Orange Olive Oil Cake
Tali from More Quiche Please made Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes
Amital from Organized Jewish Home made Mom’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Princess Lea from The Frumanista made Túrógombóc
Stephanie and Jessica from The Kosher Foodies made Beignets
Gigi from Gigi’s Kitchen made Bunuelos: Mini Powdered Cheese Donuts
Esther from Esther O Designs made Edible Menorahs
Patti from No Bacon Here made Hanukkah Oreo Balls
Shoshana from Couldn’t Be Parve made Churros con Chocolate
Shaindy from My Happily Hectic Life made Inside Out Apple Crisp
Eve from Gluten Free Nosh made Gluten-Free Hanukkah Sugar Cookies
Amy from Baking and Mistaking made Mini Cream-Filled French Beignets
Sarah from Food, Words, Photos made Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Victoria from Itsy Bitsy Balebusta made Pure Vanilla Donuts
Vicky and Ruth from May I Have That Recipe made Dulce de Leche and Eggnog cream filled mini sufganiot
Dena from Oh You Cook made Poached Pears in Pomegranate Sauce
Michele from Kosher Treif Cooking made Tiramisu Cheessecake
Sharon from FashionIsha made Sparkly Chanukah Cookies
Yosef from This American Bite made Garlic, Zaatar and Olive Oil Popcorn
Appetizers, Soups, Sauces, Drinks and other Hanukkah Food:
Laura from Pragmatic Attic made Caramel Spice Applesauce
Jessie from Bread and Butter made Honey Spiced Hanukkah Martini
G6 from Guess Who’s Coming 2 Dinner made Sweet Potato Leek Soup
Claire from I Love Soup made Sweet Potato, Coconut & Lemongrass Soup
Jennifer from Juanita’s Cocina made Kugel
Liz from Kosher Like Me made Ready, Stuff Roll!
Shelley from The Kosher Home made Hanukkah Crafts and Printables