Frying is traditional during Hanukkah, and this year I opted to incorporate seasonal ingredients into my holiday recipes. Here, sweet potatoes lend sweetness without weighing down the dough. The key is to keep the beignets small, so they fry evenly without burning.
These are delicious unadorned, but can be topped with a little powdered sugar if you have a sweet tooth. The proportions make about 3 dozen, so halve the quantities if you don’t want to enjoy leftovers with your coffee the next day. Serve with latkes for a traditional Hannukkah feast.
2 1/2 cups white flour (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill’s unbleached white flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon salt
2/3 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons butter, chilled and diced
2 cups of sweet potato purée (from two medium roasted sweet potatoes)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Canola oil for frying
Powdered sugar (optional)
1. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together.
2. Using a rubber spatula, add butter to dry ingredients until mixture clumps together.
4. Pour in milk and stir until dough pulls away from sides of the bowl.
5. Gently fold in sweet potato purée and lemon zest. If needed, add more flour to adjust consistency so dough is stiff and can be handled easily.
6. Pour oil to depth of 1/2″ in skillet and heat over medium flame til it shimmers. Working in batches of 3 or 4, drop teaspoon of dough into the oil and fry til golden brown on each side – just a minute or two. Drain on paper towels, then repeat process til dough is gone, adding more oil as necessary.
Serve beignets plain or dipped in powdered sugar.