Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hanukkah Bimuelos


I just toss mine in Cinnamon and Sugar. No syrup.

From The Jewish Holiday Cookbook by Gloria Kaufer Greene (Times Books)

Fried honey puffs are a traditional Hanukkah food for Sephardic Jews from the Mediterranean region, particularly Spain, Greece, and Turkey. They are so good, you will want to make them year-round. Honey puffs are best eaten as soon as they are made. This is a yeast bread, so plan ahead for rising time.


  • 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


For the batter, mix together the yeast, 1/2 cup of the warm water, and the sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Let the yeast mixture rest for about 5 minutes, or until it is foamy.

Stir in the remaining batter ingredients (including the remaining 1/2 cup water) until smooth. The batter should be very loose and sticky. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let the batter rise for 1 hour. (If necessary, the batter can be stirred down at this point and allowed to rise for another 30 minutes.)

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 cinnamonhoney 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).

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