A large part of Hanukkah is the story of oil that miraculously lit the menorah in the Temple of Jerusalem for eight full days, so fried foods are a popular part of the holiday celebration. But so are other common Sabbath foods, according to experts. Whether you’re serving latkes (we have more than a dozen variations), rugelach or sufganiyot (donuts), we’ve got a recipe for you. Here are a few of the sweetest ways to round out a festive Hanukkah meal.
This knockout recipe comes courtesy of Michelle Lopez of Hummingbird High. If you’ve never tried chocolate babka, and have only had it with cinnamon, this is a whole different (delightful) animal. It’s tough to find the person who won’t love it. Lopez finishes the babka with a flurry of pecans and confectioners’ sugar, for the sweetest finish.
Butter-fried challah swirled with apple-cranberry compote? Sign us up. This French toast recipe, featuring seasonal fruits like apples and cranberries, is as holiday-esque as it gets. Fresh ginger gives the bright, dreamy compote a slightly spicy kick. The finished dish, flush with the scarlet compote, is a beautiful thing to serve to guests.
Clever blogger Tori Avey is responsible for this recipe (and pretty picture), featuring flavors more classically seen during Rosh Hashanah. Make it during Hanukkah too this year; it’s that good. Moist thanks to honey and shredded apples, with a trio of classic autumn baking spices (cloves, cinnamon and allspice) that will make your home smell like a New England cider shop, it’s divine.
If kids weren’t excited enough about this wonderful holiday, they will be when they realize jelly donuts are often a traditional part of its celebrations! Sufganiyot are among Israel’s most popular Hanukkah foods, and are simply yeast dough filled with cream, chocolate, curd or jelly, then fried. Andrew Zimmern’s classic jelly sufganiyot recipe is a tough one to beat, especially since they spotlight a cinnamon-sugar coating.
There’s rugelach, and then there’s rugelach. Yotam Ottolenghi’s flaky, delicate quince recipe, which we’ve adapted slightly, falls into the latter category. Cream cheese and butter add an unctuous texture to the dough itself, but vanilla bean seeds and lemon zest keep it aromatic and flavorful. The filling is spiked with walnut halves, lending the finished pastry an irresistible cookie-meets-pastry crunch.
Get other recipes, gift ideas, and entertaining tips at our Holiday Headquarters.