Adaptable Recipes, Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus

A sweet way to celebrate Chanukah and the holidays with the kids

If you are like me, when you get up in the morning you feel like you did any other day when you were say thirty-three. In my mind that’s how old I am. Then I get up in three moves more like a faulty lawn chair, than a nimble thirty-something. However, there is a bright side for those of us who are north of forty and fifty plus. We are at an age when we can enjoy children as parents, or as dare I say Glam-parents. I have yet to find the appropriate word that doesn’t evoke visions of rocking chairs and knitting needles. Although, I have a few friends who have been creative when it comes to how their precious grandchildren refer to them. One of my favorites is Gigi.

That said, it’s the time of year when all the wonder of the world is in a child’s eyes. Granted, we are in the midst of some very trying times with the pandemic, but we can find ways to share the joy with our families, show our love, and face these challenges with resilience. One way to do that is in the kitchen. This recipe is for Sufganiyah. It is a round jelly doughnut eaten in Israel and around the world on the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. The doughnut is deep-fried in oil, filled with jam or custard, and then topped with powdered sugar. The doughnut recipe originated in Europe in the 1500s and by the 1800s was known as a Berliner in Germany.

The recipe for Sufganiyot is from The Children’s Jewish Holiday Kitchen by J Nathan. It was released by Random House in 1995. I’ve adapted the recipe for other dietary needs like gluten-sensitivities, low or no sugar diets, vegetarians and vegans.

Sufganiyah or Sufganiyot recipe by J Nathan adapted by me

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1 scant tablespoon (1 package) dry yeast
    4 tablespoons sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, Golden sugar, coconut, turbinado, or raw cane sugar pulsed, )
    3/4 cup lukewarm milk or warm water* (dairy: whole, or 3/4 cup of 2% plus 2 tablespoons of half and half or light cream) (almond, soy, rice, or light coconut milk)
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, sorghum, brown or sweet rice flour, almond flour works when combined 1 1/2 cups almond flour plus 1/2 cup corn flour)
    Pinch of salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    2 eggs, separated (for the yolks 1/2 cup silken tofu plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, or 2 tablespoons of soy lecithin) (whites 1/4 cup Aquafaba)
    2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter or pareve margarine, softened* (vegan butter or margarine)
    Apricot or strawberry preserves
    Sugar (Granulated or confectioner’s sugar, Swerve confectioner’s sugar substitute)
    Vegetable oil for deep-frying

*Use butter and milk if serving at a milk meal, and water and pareve margarine for a meat meal

  • The reason for the use of the combination of almond flour and cornflour is so that the doughnuts will be light and airy. Almond flour is essentially ground almonds and nuts don’t lend easily to being fried. The addition of cornflour lightens it to make it easier to fry. You can also use arrowroot.

PREPARATION

Child: Mix together the yeast, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and the milk. Let sit to make sure it bubbles.
Child: Sift the flour and mix it with the remaining sugar, salt, cinnamon, egg yolks, and the yeast mixture.
Adult with Child: Knead the dough until it forms a ball. Add the butter or margarine. Knead some more, until the butter is well absorbed. Cover with a towel and let rise overnight in the refrigerator.
Adult: Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/8 inch.
Child: Cut out the dough into 24 rounds with a juice glass, or any object about 2 inches in diameter. Take 1/2 teaspoon of preserves and place in the center of 12 rounds. Top with the other 12. Press down at edges, sealing with egg whites. Crimping with the thumb and second finger is best. Let rise for about 30 minutes.
Adult: Heat 2 inches of oil to about 375°. Drop the doughnuts into the hot oil, about 5 at a time. Turn to brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
Child: Roll the doughnuts in sugar.

Adaptable Recipes

Tuesday morning Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins

Once again tis the season. The holidays look different for all of us this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t begin the month on a sweet note, and set the tone to be merry.

This recipe is based on the Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe. I’ve adapted it for:

  • Vegans- including dairy allergies
  • Gluten sensitivities
  • Low-sugar and sugar free diets
  • Vegetarians

Bakery-Style blueberry muffins by the Brown Eyed Baker adapted by me

INGREDIENTS:

 2 cups all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, sorghum, brown rice, almond, or sweet rice flour)

 1 tablespoon baking powder

 ½ Teaspoon salt

 1  egg (3 tablespoons Aquafaba, ¼ cup silken-tofu plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, 1 flaxseed or chia seed egg, or egg replacer)

 1 Cup granulated sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, coconut, raw cane, or turbinado sugar, pulsed)

 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (vegan butter, margarine)

 1¼ Cups sour cream (dairy: light sour cream, plain Greek yogurt) (non-dairy: almond, soy, rice, or light coconut milk)

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon lemon or orange extract (optional)

 1½ Cups frozen or fresh blueberries

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin (or line with paper liners) and set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl until combined.

Whisk the egg in a separate medium bowl until well-combined and light-colored, about 20 seconds. Add the sugar and whisk vigorously until thick, about 30 seconds. Add the melted butter in 2 additions, whisking gently to combine after each addition. Add the vanilla, then the sour cream in 2 additions, whisking just to combine.

Add the blueberries to the dry ingredients and gently toss just to combine. Add the sour cream mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until the batter comes together and the blueberries are evenly distributed, 25 to 30 seconds. Small spots of flour may remain and the batter will be very thick. Do not overmix.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups Bake until the muffins are light golden brown and a toothpick or thin knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Immediately remove muffins to a wire rack and cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

RECIPE NOTES:

Sour cream: You can substitute buttermilk or plain yogurt for the sour cream.

Blueberries: Frozen blueberries can be used; no need to thaw them or alter the recipe.