The holiday of Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of the oil that lasted eight days when it only should have lasted one. To commemorate this miracle, there are now many traditional Jewish foods that involve oil. Other common Hanukkah recipes celebrate other aspects of the holiday, such as gelt. Here are some popular Hanukkah recipes:
These traditional potato pancakes are probably the most well-known and popular Hanukkah foods, originating in Europe.
5 large potatoes, peeled
3/4 c. matzah meal
2 tsp salt
1/4 c. oil for frying
Grate together potatoes and onions. Mix in eggs. Mix in matzah meal, pepper and salt. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Use a large serving spoon to scoop mixture into frying pan. Fry until golden brown (about 5 minutes on one side and 2-3 minutes on the other). Drain latkes on a paper towel.
Top with applesauce, sour cream, or sugar.
Sufganiyot, or jelly donuts, are the most traditional Hanukkah food in Israel. Because they are fried, they commemorate the miracle of the oil, and because they are sweet, they are a fun food for a party.
3 c. flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 c. sour cream
Your favorite jelly
Canola oil for frying
Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, sour cream, and eggs. Heat plenty of oil and wait until it is very hot. Add 1 tbs. of batter at a time to the oil. Fry until the doughnut puffs and turns golden brown, then flip and cook the other side. Drain on paper towels. Using a syringe or a skewer, carefully poke a small hole in each doughnut and fill with your favorite jelly. Sprinkle the sufganiyot with powdered sugar and serve them immediately.
Flavored Chocolate Hanukkah Coins
The tradition of receiving Hanukkah “gelt” (“money” in Yiddish) is something all Jewish children look forward to, especially because most gelt today is made of chocolate! Make your own chocolate Hanukkah coins at home and spice them up with a hint of your favorite flavor!
1 12-oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp mint, almond, or vanilla extract (feel free to add some more to taste)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Melt the chocolate chips in microwave or in a double boiler over a pot of boiling water. When melted about halfway, mix in the extract and the oil. As the chips melt, stir to mix the ingredients well. Remove from the heat and let sit until the chocolate mixture has started to thicken slightly (about 15 minutes).
Use a soup spoon to pour coin-shaped discs onto some parchment paper. Allow the “coins” to harden, then peel them off the parchment paper.
Apple Cider Sufganiyot
A twist on the original, these sufganiyot would go especially well with some applesauce! However, they are still traditionally served with jelly even if they are not necessarily filled with it.
5 &1/2 c. flour, plus some extra for rolling dough
1 c. apple cider
1 tsp baking soda
1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 & 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, or another tart cooking apple, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
Vegetable oil, for frying
Your favorite kind of jam or jelly.
Heat the apple cider over high heat until it is reduced to 1/2 cup, then set aside. Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. In another bowl, cream together the butter, the brown sugar and 1 cup of the granulated sugar (use a hand mixer with a paddle attachment). Mix in one egg at a time. Next, mix in the buttermilk, vanilla, and cider. Mix in the flour mixture, just until blended. Mix in the chopped apple, but be sure to mix it in by hand (not using the mixer). Cover the bowl and refrigerate it for about 30 minutes.
Lightly flour a work surface and roll the chilled dough out. It should be 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter or round cookie cutter, cut circles out of the dough. Fill a deep fryer or a wok with oil. Heat until it is 300 degrees. Add the round doughnuts a few at a time and fry them until they are golden brown on both sides (about five minutes total). Drain on paper towels. Fry “holes” separately. Mix together 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Use this to dust the doughnuts and serve them warm. If you’d like, you can fill the doughnuts with jam or jelly or simply serve it on the side for dipping.