During Hanukkah in some Israeli communities, vendors sell sufganyot by the basketful. The community takes on a block-party atmosphere as neighbors mill about eating, listening to music, and chatting while the children play tag, their fingers dusted with powdered sugar and sticky from the filling.
1. In a large mixing bowl stir together 1-1/4 cups of the flour, the yeast, and cinnamon; set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan heat and stir water, sugar, cooking oil, and salt just until warm (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F). Add oil mixture to flour mixture; add egg and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease the surfaced of the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour).
4. Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
5. Roll dough, 1 portion at a time, to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut dough with a floured 2-1/2-inch biscuit cutter, dipping cutter into flour between cuts. Place about 1/2 teaspoon preserves or chocolate spread onto the centers of half of the circles. Lightly moisten edges of circles; top with remaining circles. Press edges together to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and fillings. Reroll and cut trimmings.
6. Fry filled doughnuts, 2 or 3 at a time, in deep hot oil (365 degrees F) about 1 minute on each side or until golden, turning once with a slotted spoon. Remove from oil; drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cool on wire racks. Makes about 24 sufganyot.
Nutrition facts per preserve-filled-sufganyot: 117 cal., 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 9 mg chol., 48 mg sodium, 19 g carbo., 1 g fiber, and 2 g pro. Daily Values: 0% vit. A, 0% vit. C, 0% calcium, and 5% iron.