These doughnuts were a specialty of Warsaw Jewish bakers. The Polish Catholics who stood in line to buy them in the depths of winter probably did not realize that they were eating a Jewish delicacy made to celebrate Chanukah, when fried foods are traditional. Nowadays these doughnuts are as popular in Israel, where even Arabs enjoy them.
serves 8 to 10
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
oil for deep-frying
3 cups confectioners sugar
1. Combine all ingredients except oil and confectioners sugar in a large mixing bowl. Blend well; the batter will be very soft.
2. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer until it is so hot that a cube of bread dropped into it will brown in 1 minute, about 375°F.
3. Drop a few tablespoons of the mixture carefully into the oil and fry until golden brown on one side, then turn and fry on other side, about 3 minutes.
4. Drain on paper towels and continue with remaining batter.
5. When all the doughnuts are done, pour the confectioners sugar onto a shallow platter and roll doughnuts in it to coat thoroughly. Serve warm.
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