Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, began last night, kicking off eight nights of celebration. But whether you celebrate the Jewish holiday or not, you can still get in the spirit with traditional foods. After you’ve had your filling of crisp potato latkes, try your hand at another fried delight: sufganiyot, an Israeli jelly doughnut covered in powdered sugar. To make the pillowy balls of dough, use yeast, sugar, lukewarm milk, egg yolks and any zest of your choice (try orange or lemon) in small batches. Fry them to a golden brown, then fill the cooled rounds with raspberry or strawberry jam and prepare for a holiday celebration.
For more recipes to celebrate the eight days of Hanukkah, try some of Cooking Channel’s favorites:
It’s hard to imagine that just a few weeks ago we were reveling in the fall season, staring at golden-hued trees and eating Mini Pumpkin-Pie-Slice Cookies. As winter quickly approaches and the temperatures drop, sit by the fireplace and stay warm with a mug of this outrageously good, adults-only Smokey Mezcal Hot Chocolate. It’s easy to rip open a packet of store-bought mix, but this hot chocolate is full of authentic, holiday flavors thanks to a combo of milk, baking chocolate, cinnamon, sugar, chile powder and nutmeg. Pep it up with a combination of heady Mexican mezcal and a generous glug of vanilla-citrus-laced Licor 43. Go crazy with the fresh whipped cream and marshmallows, or garnishes like candied orange peel, then welcome winter in all its glory.
For more toasty ways to warm up your days, check out more of Cooking Channel’s hot sweet treats and boozy beverages:
Homemade, hand-decorated gingerbread houses are the first sign of the holiday season. From gumdrop trees to marshmallow snowmen and candy cane doors, the candy adornments are endless. This year, swap out the gingerbread base for something a little less sugary and a little more rustic: pretzels! These Holiday “Gingerbread” Pretzel Cabins are perfect for the snowy days of winter leading up to the holidays. To craft your log cabin, channel those old Lincoln Log skills and pair different shapes and sizes of pretzels (think rods, sticks, logs and short and stubby bites) to create the roof and four sides, adding plenty of chocolates, peppermints, peanut butter cups, gummy and cinnamon candies for inspiration. Show it all off with gingerbread icebox cake, gingerbread tiramisu and other fitting dishes.
For other homemade houses you can make this season, take a peek at Cooking Channel’s best gingerbread houses that will inspire your holiday cookie creations:
Are you excited for turkey, all the trimmings and sugary desserts, but dreading the awkward conversations with relatives at the dinner table? Instead of just serving beer and wine, ease the tension with your folks and impress them with a pumpkin-spiced cocktail. Go for one of our new favorites (inspired by this incredible video) or make an Apple-Pumpkin Beer Cocktail — it’s like apple cider and pumpkin pie in a glass, and it’s easy to throw together at the last minute. In a cocktail shaker (or a large pitcher if you’re multiplying the recipe to serve the whole family), mix bourbon, apple cider, lemon juice and ice. Pour into glasses and top with a pumpkin ale, then garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick and fresh cranberries. They day is guaranteed to go a lot better afterward.
For more ways to round out your holiday feast, mix up some of Cooking Channel’s favorite festive cocktails:
Turducken, Veggieducken, Cherpumple, Pumpecapple — no matter if you’re preparing main course or dessert, Thanksgiving’s overstuffed, multi-layer creations are guaranteed to get you tongue-tied and make a statement on your dinner table. Channel the hybrid nature of these behemoth creations with this recipe for Cheesecake-Pumpkin-Pecan Pie. Just like our Veggieducken, which packs sweet potatoes and stuffing into a squash, this three-in-one masterpiece combines a flaky pie crust, a smooth cheesecake, custardy pumpkin and a gooey, sweet pecan filling all into one jaw-widening dessert. You’ll need to make each component separately and freeze each layer to achieve the perfect layers. Once it has baked off and the nutty pecan pie topping has cooled, crack into the crust and cut a piece of what we’re calling the chumpcan pie – it’s triple shot of Thanksgiving-dessert heaven.
For more ways to recreate some of Thanksgiving’s famous hybrid mains and desserts, check out Cooking Channels more celebrated Franken-dishes:
It’s one of the sad-but-true facts of Thanksgiving that slices of pie just aren’t very portable. To save possible pie-induced tears when dinner ends, bake up a batch of Mini Pumpkin-Pie-Slice Cookies. Use your favorite shortbread or sugar cookie recipe and a 4-inch round cookie cutter to bake pie-slice-shaped triangles. The key to making real-life looking pumpkin pie slices is in the icing. Mix up two batches using food coloring: one to create the perfect warm orange hue and the other for a just-baked golden-brown crust color. After piping the pumpkin and crust icing, add a dollop of white frosting for a whipped cream accent, or use them as place cards by writing the names of your guests onto each slice. Then pack them up and send them home with no risk of soggy crusts or collapsed fillings.
For more ways to use pumpkin beyond the pie this fall season and for Thanksgiving, check out some of Cooking Channel’s top-rated recipes:
The air is brisk, the leaves are changing and football season is in full swing. With college and professional games on TV almost every night of the week, why not bring the spirit of tipsy tailgates into your kitchen? This recipe for Bacon-Crusted Beer Mac and Cheese combines the irresistible ooey-gooeyness of cheese with a two football favorites — beer and bacon — for a hearty, winning combination. Throw in a generous glug of your favorite brew into classic bechamel to add an extra layer of flavor. Combine the cheesy concoction with elbow pasta, then top with a salty combo of bacon, Parmesan and panko bread crumbs for a smoky, crunchy finish. The finished dish will certainly score a touchdown with your friends and family, any day of the week.
For more game-time grub to nosh on, check out some of Cooking Channel’s best football finger foods:
Now that Halloween is over, it’s time to start thinking about all of the ways to use your leftover candy. (For the record, we’ve been known to stash extra candy just to have as leftovers come November.) You could pass it out to coworkers or stockpile it to bring to movies, but we recommend revamping it, perhaps as Leftover Candy Bar Brownies. First, make a simple brownie batter, then add your favorite chopped chocolate candy — peanut butter, nougat, mint or caramel are all fair game. A gleaming layer of velveteen, thick chocolate ganache takes these over the top. Spread a thick layer of it over the top of the brownies, sprinkle with additional leftover chopped candies, like chocolate-covered peanuts or pretzels, and then revel in the candy-coated baked goodness. Happy Day-After Halloween!
For more ways to turn your excess Halloween candy into scarily good desserts, take a peek at these recipes from Cooking Channel:
Have you eaten your quota of fun-sized candy bars yet? While there’s still plenty of time before October 31st, there’s no harm in getting in the spook-tacular mood early with these Creeptastic Zombie Cupcakes. They’re also ideal for a Walking Dead zombie party. The skulls, eyeballs and gooey brains that sit on top of the cupcakes start with a simple red velvet cake, broken down into crumbs and mixed with enough frosting to bind them together into cake eyeballs, brains and skulls. Dip them in white chocolate and go wild creating the brains and guts. Your friends won’t believe their eye(ball)s!
For more creepy creations to jumpstart your Halloween celebrations, check out these bone-chilling recipes from Cooking Channel:
Before you think we’ve lost our minds by sticking fried chicken on a cake, give us a second. There’s a new match for fried chicken in town — well, sort of. Next time you want to fool your friends, or you’re going to a birthday party for a buttermilk-battered fiend, whip up a batch of faux wings for this incredible “Fried Chicken” Cookie Pop Cake
. Blend white chocolate biscuits or any cream-filled cookie with cream cheese and mold the smooth mixture into ball and stick shapes. To create the look of a drumstick, pinch together the stick, the larger ball (for the meaty end) and a smaller ball (for the opposite end), then after they set in the freezer, ice the cookies with a cream cheese, butter and brown sugar icing. For the finishing touch, roll the wings in crushed cornflakes for the just-fried, crispy effect, and serve them on top of the cake with a spoonful of raspberry compote “ketchup” for dipping.
For more ways to fry up sweet desserts, check out these fried favorites from Cooking Channel: