Fill a 10-inch (or larger) heavy skillet halfway with the vegetable or canola oil. Over medium heat, bring the oil to 350 F.
Mix together the pancake mix, sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Whisk in the water, a few tablespoons at a time, until desired consistency is achieved. It should be similar to a cake batter, not too runny but not too thick.
Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch-wide tip. Or use a plastic zip top bag with a small portion of the corner snipped off. Work fast and squeeze all of the batter in a circular motion into the hot oil, forming a large disk.
Fry about 1 minute, then flip and cook the other side for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute or until golden brown. Lift and remove from the oil using a slotted spoon or spatula.
Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain off excess oil.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.
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