In a medium pot over medium heat, heat the milk and butter until the butter melts. Stir in the sugar and salt. Let cool to 120 degrees F (50 degrees C) (very warm, but not enough to sting your finger).
In a large mixer bowl, whisk the egg. Gradually whisk in the milk mixture. In a separate bowl, mix 2 cups of the flour with the yeast. Add the flour to the egg mixture, and beat it for 2 minutes on a medium speed. Stir in the remaining flour to form a soft batter. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in volume.
Grease 24 mini-muffin cups (2 pans). Flour your hands, and turn the dough out onto a floured worktable. Roll the dough lightly into a log. Cut off small pieces and form the dough into balls, about one inch in diamter. Place 1 ball in each muffin cup. Spray 2 pieces of plastic wrap with cooking spray. Place over the muffin pans and let the dough rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) with the rack in the middle of the oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the donuts are lightly browned. Turn the donuts out onto a cooling rack.
While the dough is baking, prepare the syrup. Combine the sugar and water in a medium pot. Stir, and heat over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and boil the syrup for 5 minutes to thicken it. Turn heat to low, and keep the syrup warm.
Toss the warm donuts in the sugar syrup. Remove the donuts with a slotted spoon, and roll them in the sugar.
Fit a pastry bag with a 1/4-inch plain (round) tube. Fill the bag with the jam. Poke a hold in the side of each donut with the pastry tip. squeeze the bag, and fill each donut with jam. Serve as soon as possible. If you want to make them more than 2 hours ahead, delay dipping them in syrup and rolling in sugar until almost ready to serve. Unsugared, they can be frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat them, covered with foil, in a 350 degree F (180 C) over for 15 minutes, then dip in sugar syrup and roll in sugar.
Makes 24 small jelly donuts.
Source: "Light Jewish Holiday Desserts"
By Penny Wantuck Eisenberg (William Morrow)
Date: April 21, 2003