Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
- 1 packet (2-1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm (105 to 115 degrees F.) water, divided use
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all-purpose white flour, preferably unbleached
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Honey Syrup:
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- For Frying and Garnish:
- Vegetable oil
- Ground cinnamon
While the batter is rising, prepare the honey syrup. Mix together all the ingredients in a 2-quart or similar saucepan and slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring only until the sugar dissolves. Lower the heat slightly and boil the syrup, uncovered and undisturbed, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
When the batter has risen, stir it down. Put enough oil into a large saucepan or a wok so that it is about 1-1/2 inches deep. Heat the oil until it is very hot, about 375 degrees F. Dip a teaspoon into the oil, and then use the spoon to scoop up a small portion of the batter. Gently drop the batter into the oil. (Keep your opposite hand moistened, in case you need to nudge the batter off the spoon. The batter will not stick to wet hands.) The dollop of batter will quickly puff up to almost twice its original size. Make more puffs in the same manner, but do not crowd the pan. Fry the puffs, turning them occasionally with a slotted spoon, until they are browned on all sides and very crisp.
Drain them briefly on paper towels or on the rack that attaches to some woks. Then drop 1 or 2 at a time into the cooled syrup (see Note). Use a different spoon or tongs (so the syrup will not get oily) to turn the hot puffs in the syrup until they become completely coated with it. Lift the puffs up, and let the excess syrup drain off. Put the puffs on a large plate. Repeat the frying and dipping process until all the batter is used. Then sprinkle the puffs generously with cinnamon. For best taste and texture, serve them as soon as possible.
Note: If desired, the honey puffs may be fried in advance, and coated with hot syrup just before serving. Some Sephardic cooks prefer to stir about 1 teaspoon cinnamon into the syrup, and then let each guest pour a bit of syrup over his or her own serving of puffs. In some households, purchased pancake syrup is used. Another easy alternative is 1 cup honey mixed with 1/4 to 1/3 cup water, heated just until blended and hot. Use while warm to drizzle over the puffs.
Yield: about 36 honey puffs.
Source: The Jewish Holiday Cookbook by Gloria Kaufer Greene (Times Books)
Reprinted with permission.