Donut Holes (Ponchiki)
In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt.
In a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat 1 egg for 20 seconds on high speed then add sugar and vanilla and continue beating 1 min. Add 2 cups cheese and beat on low just until well blended (20 seconds). Stir in flour mixture with a spatula just until well blended. Dough will be thick and sticky.
Heat 1 1/2 inches of oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Once oil is hot (360˚F), using a small ice cream scoop (*see notes below), scoop a flat scoop and plunk it out into the hot oil. Add balls one at a time just one after the other and fry over medium heat until golden brown on all sides (3-4 minutes total), turning the donuts halfway through if they don't roll over on their own. Don’t overcrowd the pan or the oil will lose heat. You want to keep it about 350˚F while cooking.
Remove donuts to a paper towel lined plate. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
*Use a thermometer to monitor temp of the oil. If oil gets too hot, donuts will brown quickly leaving the center undercooked. If oil is too cool, donuts can absorb oil and become greasy.
*If you don't have a small ice cream scoop, you can use 2 teaspoons; 1 to scoop and the second to scrape the dough off into the oil.