When Hanukkah falls early, as it does this year, it means Thanksgiving feasting and loading up on fried Hanukkah treats all in the same week. I’m ready. To celebrate the oil that burned for eight days, crispy potato pancakes and jelly-filled doughnuts (sufganiyot) are customary Hanukkah fare. And let’s not forget the chocolate gelt—I go for the dark chocolate coins in silver wrappers (the milk chocolates are usually gold).
Fellow sweet-tooths, take note: In their Cooking Channel holiday special, the Brass Sisters go all out and make their own chocolate gelt, with shiny foil wrappers and everything. They’ve also got a recipe for sweet potato latkes that’s essentially a dessert version of the traditional potato pancakes, sprinkled with powdered sugar.
For a classic savory latkes, turn to the Bromberg brothers of New York’s Blue Ribbon restaurants. Made with schmaltz (chicken fat), they’d get any Jewish grandma’s seal of approval. Roger Mooking’s scallion-flecked potato pancakes are made with mashed spuds in place of the traditional grated.
Keep your frying oil nice and hot for Emeril’s traditional jelly-filled doughnuts, or go outside the box with Chuck Hughes’s Doughnut Extravaganza. Better yet, make it a doughnut-filling Hanukkah party with Chuck’s tempting trio of raspberry-mango, chocolate-caramel and lemon cream.
Check out our recipe collection for more Hanukkah ideas.