2 cups lukewarm water
1 cup lukewarm milk
2 (.25oz) packages dry yeast
4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
about 4 cups canola oil for frying
confectioner's sugar and cinnamon for dusting
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1 cinnamon stick
Dissolve yeast in half cup of lukewarm water, whisk in 1 tablespoon of sugar and set aside for 10 minutes until the mixture gets foamy.
Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl and add to the yeast mixture with the remaining water, milk and vanilla extract. Mix well with a hand mixer on medium-high speed until the lumps disappear in the batter.
Cover the bowl that the batter is in with plastic wrap or with a clean cloth and set it aside in a warm place to rise, undisturbed for 30 minutes. Make sure the bowl is big enough. When the batter rises it will double in size.
Mix the dough with a spatula, cover again and let it rise for another 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
While you are waiting for the dough to rise, make the syrup. Combine all of the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring. Lower the heat and cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool.
Heat the oil for frying in a saucepan until very hot, but not smoking.
Keep a glass of water nearby. Using two teaspoons, carefully drop a teaspoonful of dough into the hot oil and repeat until there are enough puffs to comfortably fill the pan while still having some room to flip them over. My pan usually fits 6 puffs at a time.
Each time you drop one puff into the hot oil, dip your spoons into the water to clean them off before getting another teaspoon of dough.
Fry the loukoumades until golden brown. About 3 minutes.
Transfer them onto a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
You can soak them with syrup using one of these two methods:
Either, dip them into the honey syrup a few at a time, or just pour the syrup over them.
Sprinkle some powdered sugar and cinnamon over them and serve immediately!!!!