Recipes for Hanukkah

The ever-popular potato latke heads the list of traditional, oily Hanukkah treats.

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On Hanukkah is it customary to eat foods that are either fried in oil or made with cheese.

The fried foods custom recalls the miracle of Hanukkah, which centered around oil (one cruse lasting for eight days). Latkes (fried potato pancakes) are traditional, topped with applesauce or sour cream, but there are many creative variations to the pancakes and the toppings. Other fried foods for Hanukkah include sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) and other kinds of fritters.

The cheesy foods tradition is based on a story from the apocryphal Book of Judith which takes place during the time of the Maccabean revolt that we commemorate on Hanukkah. In it, an Assyrian warrior named Holofernes besieges the town of Bethulia, and though Bethulia’s elders are ready to surrender, Judith, a widow, enters the Assyrian camp and gives Holofernes salty cheese to make him thirsty and wine to make him drunk. After he becomes intoxicated, she seizes his sword and beheads him, bringing the head back to her village in a basket. The next morning when the Assyrian troops found the headless body of their leader, they fled in terror. While a severed head is not the most appetizing image, we honor Judith’s victorious and brave use of cheese by incorporating the dairy product into our Hanukkah menus.

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Easy Latkes
Parsnip Latkes
Sweet Potato Latkes
Gingered Sweet Potato Latkes
Curried Sweet Potato Latkes
Sweet Potato Latkes with Toasted Marshmallows
Grilled Cheese Latkes

Pulled Brisket-Topped Latkes
Green Latkes
French Onion Latkes
Loaded Baked Potato Latkes
Colorful Veggie Latkes
Cajun Potato Latkes
Cheese Latkes
Coconut Latkes


Latke Toppings

Basil Pesto
Pear and Ginger Compote
Pesto Latke Topping

Doughnuts and Other Fried Treats

jelly donuts

Jelly Doughnuts
Peanut Butter Jelly Doughnuts
Bimuelos, honey drizzled fritter
Deep Fried Chocolate Cupcakes

Savory Fried Foods

Torzelli, deep-fried curly endive
Tostones, fried plantains
Mozzarella in Carrozza, a fried cheese sandwich
Beer-Battered Pumpkin Rings

Non-Fried Hanukkah Desserts

Ultimate Hanukkah cookies main

Ultimate Hanukkah Cookies
Jelly-Filled “Sufganiyot” Cupcakes

Lemon Olive Oil Cupcakes
Hanukkah Cookies
Chocolate Covered Hanukkah Oreos
Bourban Pecan and Chocolate Gelt Pie
Spiced Hot Chocolate, made with leftover Hanukkah gelt


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