Sufganiyot Cookies

November 22, 2021
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Author Notes

Hanukkah might be over, but who says you can’t have sufganiyot year-round? The pillowy-round, jelly- or custard-filled and confectioners’ sugar-dusted doughnuts are a common treat during the Jewish festival of lights. Like latkes, they’re part of the holiday’s tradition of eating fried food, commemorating an oil lamp that burned a week longer than it should’ve. But how to transform a doughnut into a cookie, you ask?

These pillowy sugar cookies are chewier than a snappy or crumbly shortbread cookie, thanks to brown sugar and egg yolks, and a hefty glug of olive oil makes them extra-tender, as well as calls back to sufganiyot’s fried origins. Similar to a classic thumbprint cookie, you’ll poke a hole in and then fill each cookie with a blot of jam before baking—strawberry or raspberry is classic, but whichever fruit you prefer will work just fine. Whatever you do, don’t forget to shower the cooled cookies in confectioners’ sugar before dotting each with more jam.

Freeze the unbaked, hole-poked cookie dough balls, or the baked cookies without confectioners’ sugar, in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Baked and un-sugared cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.
Rebecca Firkser

  • Prep time 55 minutes
  • Cook time 18 minutes
  • makes About 22 cookies
  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (106 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs yolks
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) vanilla extract
  • Strawberry or raspberry jam
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for topping
  • Flaky salt, for topping (optional)
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the oven to 350ºF with a rack positioned in the center, and line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high to cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the oil until completely combined. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla until extremely light in color and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.
  4. Scoop half of the dough (about 11 cookies’ worth) into mounds using a #40 cookie scoop (or measure 1½ tablespoon- or 28-gram-mounds) and place on one of the prepared sheet pans or a large plate. Roll each mound into a ball and space out 2 inches apart. Use your pinky finger or the bottom of a slender wooden spoon to gently poke a hole in the top of each ball about halfway through—if they crack at all, just squish back together. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  5. Use a small spoon to fill each cookie-hole with jam (about ¼ teaspoon/1 gram each). Bake the cookies for 18 to 20 minutes, until barely golden, slightly cracked, and still a bit soft to the touch. While the first batch bakes, prep and freeze the second batch. After they come out of the oven, let the cookies cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Bake the second batch of cookies.
  6. When the cookies are totally cool, place the confectioners’ sugar (start with ⅓ cup and add more as needed) in a fine sieve and dust each cookie heavily, so the full surface is covered and the jam is barely visible, if at all. Dot the top of each cookie with a blot of fresh jam and sprinkle with flaky salt if you’d like, then serve immediately.

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Rebecca Firkser is the assigning editor at Food52. She used to wear many hats in the food media world: food writer, editor, assistant food stylist, recipe tester (sometimes in the F52 test kitchen!), recipe developer. These days, you can keep your eye out for her monthly budget recipe column, Nickel & Dine. Rebecca tests all recipes with Diamond Crystal kosher salt. Follow her on Instagram @rebeccafirkser.

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