Hanukkah Food Hacks

What can be more festive than delicious holiday specialties made from scratch? For many of us, that is a voyeuristic pleasure, to be enjoyed in a magazine. Real life does not play out that way. Lack of time or attention span is no reason not to enjoy preparing your own Hanukkah treats. Here are some easy shortcuts that will help you fill your home with the aromas and flavors of homemade delicacies.

Latkes (Potato Pancakes) Photo: Jacob Kaplan-Moss https://www.flickr.com/photos/jacobian/

Photo: Jacob Kaplan-Moss.


An easy shortcut to fresh homemade latkes is purchasing frozen shredded potatoes, or hash browns, and frozen diced onions.

Potato-Onion Latkes

  • 4 cups frozen shredded potatoes, defrosted
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped onion, defrosted
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  1. In a large bowl, mix the potatoes, onions, eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Heat some oil in a heavy skillet.
  3. Drop 2 tablespoons of batter to form each latke.
  4. Lower the flame to medium, and fry the latkes until they are golden-brown on each side.
  5. Place the latkes in a casserole dish lined with paper towels.
  6. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.
  7. Serve with applesauce, sour cream, or sugar.

Photo: Noam Furer.


Sufganiyot are the jelly-filled doughnuts enjoyed all over Israel for Hanukkah. A wonderful shortcut to preparing these yeasty delights is frozen challah dough. Purchase some frozen challah dough. Leave it out in advance in a warm corner to let it thaw and rise.


  • Challah dough
  • Vegetable oil
  • Strawberry jelly
  • Powdered sugar
  1. Heat some vegetable oil over a medium flame in a large pot.
  2. Pinch out a walnut sized piece of dough.
  3. Roll it into a ball.
  4. Drop into the oil to fry.
  5. When the dough is golden-brown on all sides, remove it from the oil with a slotted spoon.
  6. Place the sufganiyah on a plate covered with a paper towel.
  7. Using a pastry bag, jelly injector, squeeze bottle, or spoon, insert some jelly into the doughnut.
  8. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.
Cookie decorated like a dreidel. Photo by msabcmom https://www.flickr.com/photos/msabcmom/

Photo: Ms Abc Mom.

Hanukkah Cookies

Hanukkah cookies are so easy, and so much fun! Purchase some refrigerated sugar cookie dough, icing, sprinkles, colored sugar, chocolate, and anything else you fancy. Express your creativity by cutting out the shapes you desire with cookie cutters or a knife. Bake the cookies, and when they have cooled, have fun decorating and eating them!

Hanukkah Cookies

  • Refrigerated cookie dough
  • 1/2 cup flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the cookie dough in a large bowl.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of flour.
  4. Knead the flour into the dough.
  5. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface.
  6. Roll out the dough.
  7. Cut out the shapes you desire with cookie cutters or a knife.
  8. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Bake for about 10 minutes, until light brown.
  10. Allow the cookies to cool completely before decorating them.


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