Chanukah is the eight-day holiday that celebrates the triumph of the Maccabees over the Greek Hellenists. The Temple was destroyed and the Jews found the Temple menorah but only enough oil to light it for one day. They lit the menorah and, miraculously, the menorah stayed lit for eight nights.
We celebrate Chanukah by lighting a menorah every night. The first night we light one candle on the right and add another candle each night. We sing songs, play with a dreidel and exchange gifts or gelt.
Food and Desserts
On Chanukah, we eat fried foods to recall the miracle of the oil. We eat fried potato latkes and doughnuts called sufganiyot in Hebrew.
In The Holiday Kosher Baker there are recipes for doughnuts in many different flavors as well as recipes for cakes and cookies made with olive oil.
The desserts in the Easy section of The Kosher Baker can be made in advance and frozen before the holiday. The Chewy Chocolate Olive Oil Cookies from The Holiday Kosher Baker are really delicious and you can easily double and triple the recipe and freeze a bunch for a party or to eat all week. A week before Chanukah, make the gingerbread and shortbread doughs and freeze them. Then roll and bake as needed during the week and make sure to get some helpers.
Like most fried foods, doughnuts are best eaten the day they are made. I try to make them in the afternoon to serve that evening if I am having a crowd. If it is just my family, I make the dough before dinner and then fry them for dessert. Doughnuts fry very quickly and your family can help fill them and roll them in sugar or other coating. If you do not have time to fill the doughnuts, place the filling you love in a bowl and then dip the doughnuts into it and enjoy. I have reheated doughnuts the second day, but after that, they really are not as tasty.
What to do with leftover doughnuts? The Washington Post asked me that question, s if there was ever such a thing. But just in case, here is the recipe for a bread pudding with berries made with stale doughnuts.
I used doughnut holes and larger glazed doughnuts, but learned that people were making this recipe with any flavor doughnuts they had that were stale. So keep any doughnuts that get stale during the week and when you have enough to cover the bottom of a 9 X 13-inch pan, make this recipe. You can use frozen berries if fresh ones are not available where you live.
The Kosher Baker
Lemon Rosemary Biscotti Sticks
Linzer Tart Cookies
Cracked Top Chocolate Cookies
The Holiday Kosher Baker
Decorated Cookies with Royal Icing
Chewy Chocolate Olive Oil cookies
Almond and Olive Oil Cake
Vanilla Doughnut Holes
Chocolate Ganache Doughnuts
Olive Oil Challah and Challah Doughnuts