Food and prop styling by Shiri Feldman
Food prep and styling by Chef Suzie Gornish
Photography by Felicia Perretti
Throughout the year, the kitchen might be our space, but come Chanukah, every potato and bottle of oil is an opportunity to engage the people around us. Sharing the kitchen with our children provides opportunities for fun, connection, and celebration. It also means opening our hearts to eight days of the mess and sticky counters that accompany family memories and quality time. And we’re looking forward to every second.
Tip: Oriental Trading sells well-priced metal dreidel cookie cutters. I used them for the Vegetable Dreidel Latkes recipe, and they worked very well.
Sweet-and-Salty Chanukah Gelt Bark
I’ve always had a weakness for sweet-and-salty pairings, so combining the salty taste of popcorn and peanuts with the sweetness of chocolate and caramel is definitely up my alley. A sprinkle of sea salt over the top creates that perfect balance of flavors that will keep you coming back for more.
- 80–100 chocolate coins in assorted sizes and colors (white, dark, and dairy chocolate)
- 1–1½ cups caramel popcorn
- ½–¾ cup honey-roasted peanuts
- pink Himalayan salt, for sprinkling
- 1 5-oz (140-g) pkg Solos (caramel-filled chocolate bites), cut in half
Line a baking sheet or tray with parchment paper. Unwrap the chocolate coins and place them randomly onto the baking sheet. Try to get them as close to each other as possible without overlapping.
Preheat the oven to 200°F (90°C).
Place the baking sheet into the oven for about 10–15 minutes, until the chocolate is melted. It will not liquefy or spread, but the chocolate will get soft and shiny. Do not overbake or the chocolate will seize and get hard.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate lightly with Himalayan salt. Working quickly, place the caramel popcorn, honey roasted peanuts, and Solo halves into all the gaps between the coins as well as in their centers and press them into the softened chocolate.
Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator or freezer until firm, at least one hour. Once the chocolate is firm, remove from the refrigerator or freezer and break it into small, irregularly shaped pieces. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in a cool place.
Doughnut Board with Delectable Dairy Fillings
Think Chanukah, think doughnuts. Better yet, think doughnut board! Have fun with your family and friends by stuffing store-bought doughnuts with these delicious dairy filling flavors along with their respective toppings. Feel free to get creative and add your own flavors and toppings to the mix!
YIELDS 5 CUPS OF FILLING
- 16 oz (450 g) whipped cream cheese
- 1¾ cups confectioners’ sugar
- 12 oz (340 g) heavy cream
Filling Add-Ins and Topping Suggestions
Strawberry: 2 Tbsp Baker’s Choice Strawberry Filling plus crushed freeze-dried strawberries for topping
Lotus Butter: 2 Tbsp Lotus cream plus 2 Tbsp Lotus crunchies plus Lotus cookies for topping
Cookies ’n Cream: 2 Tbsp crushed Oreos plus Oreo pieces for topping
Nougat: 2 Tbsp dairy nougat cream plus hazelnut brittle for topping
Caramel: 2 Tbsp dairy caramel cream plus crushed caramel candies for topping
To prepare the filling, beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer until soft and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until well incorporated. Slowly add the heavy cream while the mixer is on low, increasing the speed to medium, then high, and beat until stiff peaks form, about 5–7 minutes. Remove the filling from the mixer and set aside.
Add 2 Tbsp of the flavor of your choice into the mixer and beat gently until softened. Add one cup of cream filling and add-ins (if applicable) and mix on low until well combined. Remove the flavored cream from the mixer and repeat the process with any additional flavors, washing the mixer bowl and beaters and drying well between batches.
To fill your doughnuts, place filling into a piping bag fitted with a long, pointed tip. Insert the tip of the piping bag into the side of each doughnut and gently squeeze the filling in until you feel resistance. Be careful not to overfill, as it can cause the doughnut to burst. Top the doughnut with the icing of your choice and respective toppings.
For a fun do-it-yourself version, simply cut the doughnuts in half and arrange them on a board with the fillings, fresh fruit, and extra toppings. Spoon the fillings into the empty doughnut halves, add the toppings, and enjoy!
Flaming-Hot Chicken Drumsticks
My mother gets the credit for these candle-themed drumsticks; she suggested dipping the ends into paprika to achieve a flame effect, and it worked better than I imagined! If your family prefers its dinner a bit milder, just mix the spicy mayo with regular mayonnaise, and you should be good to go. Either way, this chicken is moist, tasty, a cinch to make, and fun to eat on a Chanukah evening!
YIELDS 10 DRUMSTICKS
- 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal, crushed
- ½ cup cornflake crumbs
- 10 chicken drumsticks, skinned and cleaned
- ⅓ cup spicy mayo
- paprika, for coating drumstick ends
- salt, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
Combine the crushed Rice Krispies and cornflake crumbs in a shallow dish. Place the drumsticks and spicy mayo in a large bowl and toss to coat the chicken on all sides. Roll the drumsticks in the crumbs and dip the ends in paprika. Sprinkle generously with salt. Place the drumsticks onto a parchment paper-lined baking pan and spray with cooking spray. Cover lightly and bake for 50 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 30–40 minutes or until the chicken begins to pull away from the bone.
Vegetable Dreidel Latkes
Delicious and adorable, these dreidels are almost too cute to eat! Make them with regular potato kugel batter if you go for more typical latke fare or, if you dare, swap out these veggies for more interesting ones!
YIELDS 16-18 DREIDEL LATKES
- 1 medium zucchini, scrubbed
- 2 large carrots
- 5 large potatoes
- 1 small onion
- 3 eggs
- ⅓ cup oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper, or to taste
- ½ cup bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
Spray the insides of your metal dreidel cookie cutters with cooking spray and place them on a lined baking sheet.
Using a food processor, finely shred the zucchini and put in a bowl; squeeze out the excess liquid. Finely shred the carrots and two of the potatoes; add to the bowl. Using the kugel blade, grate remaining potatoes and onion and add to the bowl with remaining ingredients. Stir the mixture to combine, and season to taste.
Spoon the batter into the cookie cutters and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the dreidel latkes are crispy and browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Using a spatula, lift the dreidels off the pan and slide them out from the cookie cutters; set aside. Repeat with any remaining batter. Serve hot or warm.
(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 869)
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