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Sfenz (Donuts)
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A typical Hanukkah sweet popular among the Libyan Jews. Quantities are approximate. For more information visit The Last Jews of Libya.

Serves: 6

Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:

Sephardic Parve Dessert
Hanukkah

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Ingredients

For the dough:

2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons oil
1-/12 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup flour
orange peel, chopped fine (optional)
1/4 cup almonds, chopped fine
1/4 teaspoon orange-flower water (optional)
oil for deep-frying

For the syrup:

2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon orange-flower water
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients except the oil for deep-frying together into a firm dough. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons more flour if necessary.
  2. Roll out the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick round flat shape, using a small glass to cut out the donut hole.
  3. Heat the oil over moderate heat until it is hot, then reduce heat to low. Add the donuts, a few at a time, and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until brown on both sides. The donuts will rise to the top when done. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
  4. To make syrup: Mix the sugar, lemon juice, orange-flower water and vanilla together in a pan and just cover the mixture with water. Simmer the mixture over low heat for about 45 minutes to thicken. Stir and remove the syrup from the heat. Use immediately or set aside for later use.
  5. When using it to dip the donuts, continue to simmer the syrup over very low heat. With a fork dip each donut into the syrup. Remove to a colander. If the syrup becomes too thick, add 1 or 2 tablespoons warm water. Spread the donuts on a platter, and sprinkle chopped nuts on top, optional.

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