8 Days of Treats: Hanukkah Favorites for the Whole Family


Here are some recipes for any Hanukkah parties or snacks for school to get you through the holiday season!

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Holidays are about family, but they are also largely about food.  Be ready for visits from family and friends, or arm yourself with a tasty treat to bring to a party this Hannukah season.  If you don't have any heirloom recipes that have been passed down for decades, don't fret - many Hannukah recipes, such as potato latkes, are easy enough to make and add your own personal spin on if you would like.  You can also be a hit among the kids with DIY gelt that is superior to the store brand, and maybe let the kids decorate the foil on the outside to have their very own kind of currency! Here are some Hannukah staples, as well as a new twist on an old favorite - Hanukkah cake balls!

Homemade Gelt

  • Semi-sweet chocolate (or your favorite type of chocolate)

Directions: Put chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 second increments, stirring each time.  When the chocolate has fully melted, drop one teaspoon into the bottom of each spot on a mini muffin tin, or enough to cover the bottom of each spot. You won’t need too much, since gelt is usually thin. Refrigerate the pans for about 20 minutes, or until the chocolate is completely set.  Flip the pans upside down on a clean surface so that the chocolate circles fall out Wrap each chocolate in gold or silver foil, and trim away excess foil for a neat appearance.

Potato Latkes

  • 2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour or matzo meal
  • Salt and pepper for taste
  • Vegetable oil

Directions: Grate the potatoes in a food processor, then press them with a clean kitchen towel to remove any extra moisture. Put the grated potatoes in a bowl, then add eggs, chopped onion, flour, and a bit of salt and pepper and toss to combine.  In a large skillet, add enough oil to cover the bottom and turn it to medium-high heat.  Add heaping taplespoons of the potato mixture to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.  Transfer to a paper towel to dry while you cook the rest of the latke mix, then serve warm with applesauce or sour cream.

Noodle Kugel

  • 1/2 lb kosher egg noodles
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1 lb cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Boil noodles in salted water for about 5 minutes, then strain them and put them in a large mixing bowl.  Add remaining ingredients, and pour everything into a large greased casserole dish and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the custard on top has set.

Hannukah Cake Balls

  • 1 box vanilla cake mix
  • 1 16 oz can of frosting
  • White, blue, and brown chocolate
  • White and blue sprinkles

Directions: Bake the cake mix as directed, and allow it to cool completely. Crumble the cooled cake completely in a large mixing bowl, then add 3/4 of the container of frosting.  Mix it carefully using the back of a metal spoon until thoroughly combined. Roll the mix into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on a baking sheet covered in wax paper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for several hours in the fridge, of for about 15 minutes in the freezer until the balls are firm but not frozen.  Next, put the chocolate (whichever kind or color you are starting with) in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between until fully melted.  One at a time, dip the cake ball in the bowl, pour more chocolate over it using a spoon, and scoop it out and put it on another wax paper-covered baking sheet to dry.  You can also drizzle the chocolate in the color you desire over the cake ball after the first layer it was dipped in has dried. Repeat with the remaining cake balls, add blue and white sprinkles to some or all, and let them dry completely before serving.