1. Smear a thin layer of oil on your counter or cookie sheet. Shape your challah dough into balls about the size of golf balls, or a bit smaller for the “doughnut hole” look. Place on the oiled surface and cover lightly with a slightly damp cloth. Let sit for half an hour.
2. Meanwhile, heat a pot of oil (I like to use a deeper, more narrow shape as it uses less oil than a wider pot). Heat oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It is extremely important to make sure that your oil stays between 325 Fahrenheit to 350 Fahrenheit. I highly suggest using thermometer that clips onto the side of your pot. When the oil reaches the correct temperature, add some of the balls to the oil. It’s best not to overcrowd the pot, as it can bring down the oil temperature too quickly. Let doughnuts fry for about five minutes, turning gently halfway through (use a fork), to let all sides cook. Remove from oil and set on a paper towel to drain. Repeat for all the balls of dough.
3. When ready to serve, or before Shabbat, place the maple syrup in a double boiler (a bowl set on top of a pot of water) and heat with the cinnamon stick and spices. I have served it for dessert of the Friday night meal, and it’s simple to keep the syrup warm on a hot plate, or in an oven. Just make sure to cover the bowl. Spoon the hot syrup over the doughnuts, or roll the doughnuts in the warm syrup and serve immediately.