Hanukkah Recipes

We asked our friends and family to share their special Hanukkah recipes with us.  Below you'll find quite a collection.  We love the family history of the older recipes and the twists and variety of the new ones!

Best Basic Cookie
"This is a rolled cookie recipe from Great-grandma Brina (Rebecca) Resnick Kaplan to her daughter Mary Kaplan Rogosin to her daughter Phoebe Rogosin Resnick to her children Rosalind, Bruce and David Resnick and their children.  Have fun making! Have fun baking! -- Best of all, enjoy the tasting! (It's tradition!) Love,  Mom aka Gramma Phoebe"

Rugulach (also known as "Schnecken")
"YUM! RECIPES....from Gramma Phoebe (Rogosin Resnick), as passed on from Gramma Mary (Kaplan Rogosin) requested by several other bakers who attended Baby Luke's Bris on the evening of May 6, 1997 in Los Angeles, CA and enjoyed the treats.   As you can see, these take longer to bake than to eat...which is why they are usually reserved for special occasions!  However, as you all seem to agree, they are worth the effort! And the baking smell is divine!  ENJOY! ENJOY!.....and bake a lot in honor of all the babies!!!!  Love, Mom aka Gramma Phoebe"

Salmon Latkes
We were thrilled when Judy Zeidler offered one of her Latke recipes for our page. Judy is well known in the LA restaurant scene and is the author of a wonderful cookbook titled The Gourmet Jewish Cook. Much of the book is focused on recipes for holiday meals and is a great starting place for planning your Hanukkah dinners!




Hanukkah Recipes with a Twist!

Cathy Rogers is the editor of the fabulous cookbook Malibu's Cooking Again -- a collection of recipes from some of the top restaurants in LA.  We met her while she was teaching a Jewish cooking class.  We thank her for her contribution of two contemporary Hanukkah recipes:


Candle Cupcakes
Joan Nathan is the author of a must-have cookbook for kids titled The Children's Jewish Holiday Kitchen.   The book is filled with kid friendly recipes for many Jewish holidays, with roles for kids and adults explained in each recipe.  She is also the author of the cookbook Jewish Cooking in America.  When she was kind enough to offer us a recipe for this page we selected a fun way for kids to make their own menorah!

Latkes, Latkes, and More Latkes!
Our friend, Lynn Kaufman, is not Jewish but after marrying into a Jewish family researched the culture with such vim and vigor that she is often the first one we go to answer questions on all things Jewish.  She's also a fantastic cook so we immediately thought of her when starting our recipe collection.

Best Basic Cookie

3 eggs, beaten

3 cups flour, pre-sifted

1/2 cup Mazola oil 

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar 

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon flavoring (almond or brandy)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Add oil, sugar and flavorings to beaten eggs. Combine dry ingredients; sift again, if desired; add to egg-oil mixture.  Roll out on floured board, about 1/8 inch thick. Cut with floured cookie cutters into interesting shapes. Decorate or fill if desired.


Bake on unfloured cookie sheets in 350 degree oven until edges are slightly brown (15-20 minutes). Cool on cookie rack; then arrange on plate. Yum!!


Batter may be prepared in advance and stored in refrigerator in bowl, covered with wax paper or saran wrap.


Note: recipe may be doubled or tripled for large batches of cookies.


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Rugulach (also known as "Schnecken")


1 (8 oz) package Philadelphia Cream Cheese (the real thing, with fat)

2 sticks (1/2 lb) sweet salted butter (also the real thing....remember, this is a treat!)
2 cups pre-sifted flour



White sugar


Finely chopped walnuts

Sweet shredded cocoanut

Finely diced marashino cherries

Let cream cheese and butter stand in mixing bowl until they room temperature (or can be easily blended). Knead and squeeze together with your hand until evenly blended. 

Add 2 cups of pre-sifted flour, a little at a time, stirring with fingers and kneading (lightly) until all flour is absorbed and a ball can be formed. Chill in refrigerator or freeze for later use. (Note: this is a good way to save left-over butter and cream cheese.)

This amount of dough will make about 24 large rugulach or one 9-10" double pie crust. 

It is also a great dough for apple strudel, deep dish fruit pies, hamantaschen and other goodies that have "fillings."

Of course, the recipe can be doubled - which is what I did - or halved, depending on how much you want to bake. (Small left-over pieces are good to bake as cookies, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon!)

Remove dough from refrigerator when it can be easily rolled out (not too cold and hard...or, if it has hardened, let stand unrefrigerated until it feels ready).

Take a piece of the dough and roll it out on a floured board with a floured rolling pin, rolling lightly from the center in all directions to the edges to stretch it into a circle... 1/8-1/4 inch thick...(looks like a pancake). It is OK to flip the dough in the flour during the rolling out process.

Note: for smaller rugulach, use about 1/4 of the ball; for larger pieces, like the ones at the bris, use about 1/2 the ball......or whatever fits on your board.

Sprinkle whatever filling ingredients you like all over the rolled-out circle. I used - in this order - white sugar, cinnamon, finely chopped (or hammered) walnuts, sweet shredded cocoanut (packaged) and finely diced maraschino cherries. With a sharp floured knife, slice the sprinkled circle into halves, then quarters. Working with one quarter at a time, slice each into 3 pieces (like a pizza). Then roll up each "slice" working from the wide outside end to the center point. Try to keep as much of the filling as possible inside the dough as you are rolling. Tuck the point underneath each finished roll and shape/pinch the ends into a slight curve to hold the filling inside. Place on teflon or floured cookie sheet, well-spaced....2 long rows, about 5 or 6 to a row.  Brush each one lightly with slightly beaten egg (thinned with a little water) to give it a sheen.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes, or until toasty done (watch carefully to get in synch with your particular oven). Yes, you can bake 2 trays at a time.

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Salmon Latkes

"Both my mother and mother-in-law served Salmon Latkes all year for a simple dairy lunch or dinner.  Although canned salmon is much more expensive than it was in the old days, this is still an inexpensive recipe, ideal for a Hanukkah lunch."


1 can (15 1/2 ounces) red or pink salmon, skin and bones removed, juices reserved

2 eggs

2/3 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 cup bread crumbs, or matzo meal

1 tablespoon fresh minced dill (optional)


Freshly grated black pepper

Vegetable oil

In a large bowl, combine the salmon with its juices, the eggs, onion, bread crumbs, and dill.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix well.  Set aside for 15 minutes.  With wet hands, shape the mixture into latkes.

In a large heavy skillet, heat 1/8 inch of oil. Fry the latkes until golden brown on both sides.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve hot or cold.  Makes about 2 dozen.

From The Gourmet Jewish Cook, Copyright © 1988 by Judy Zeidler

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Chanukah Jelly Donuts

Makes 12 donuts

1 package dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water or milk

3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour

1/2 cup sugarr

1  tsp. salt

1/2 cup jelly or strawberry jam (see below)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 cups canola oil

Dissolve yeast in 1 1/2 cup warm water.  Do not mix, allow to stand for 5 minutes.  Mix in 1 cup flour then sugar and salt.  Mix in remaining flour until you have a smooth, non-sticky dough.  Knead on lightly floured surface.  Place in lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until dough is doubled in warm, turned off oven (about 2 hours).  

Turn out dough onto floured surface.  Cut dough into 12 round shapes.  Shape with floured hand and place on lightly floured non-stick surface.  Let rise 20 minutes.  While dough is rising heat oil in large pot to 375 degrees.

When donuts double in size, drop them one at a time into the hot oil.  Do not crowd pan.  Cook donuts for 3 minutes per side.  Turn and brown other side.  Remove with slotted spoon, place on paper towel.  Cool slightly.  Using point of knife make an insert in one side.  Place jelly in pastry bag with pointed tip and fill donut.  Roll in sugar and enjoy!

Strawberry Jam

3 boxes, beautiful ripe strawberries
2 cups sugar
2 cups water

Bring sugar and water to a boil over high heat.  Boil until sugar dissolves in water.  Let cool.  

Slice green leaves and stem off strawberries.  Place strawberries into a large bowl.  Pour sugar water over top and cover tightly with saran wrap.  Let stay for 3 days at room temperature.  This will bring the natural pectins out of the fruit.

Pour strawberries and liquid into a large 12" Teflon, non-stick pan.  Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thick.  Pour into jars.  Cool and cover.  Refrigerate.

 Copyright © 2000 by Cathy Rogers

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Whitefish Pizza with Onions and Caviar

Serves 6

Dough for 4 pizzas

1 1/4 cup warm water

1 package yeast

1 Tbs. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. olive oil

4 cups Better For Bread flour



2 pounds whole whitefish

1/2 cup homemade mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream, optional

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

2 Tbs. fresh dill, chopped

1 small red onion, sliced thin

2 Tbs. whitefish caviar

2 Tbs.  seruga caviar

1 Tbs. chopped chive

juice of 1/2 lemon


corn meal

For dough dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water.  Add sugar, salt , and olive oil to remaining 1 cup warm water.  Add dissolved yeast.  Place 4 cups flour in large mixing bowl.  Gradually add yeast mixture to flour and mix until no long sticky.  Knead for about 5 - 10 minutes on lightly floured surface.  Place in clean bowl and allow to rise 1 hour covered tightly with saran wrap.

To smoke whitefish, place whitefish in Camerons Smoker with one cup assorted smoke dust and cover.  Smoke 60 minutes.  Cool and refrigerate.  Remove skin and bones.  Reserve pieces of fish.  Discard bones and skin.


Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon and dill in small bowl.  Reserve.  Divide pizza dough in 4 pieces.  Roll 1 piece out very thin on a floured surface.  Lightly oil pizza pan and sprinkle with corn meal.  Place dough on pan and sprinkle with a few sliced onions.  Roll edges of dough neatly.  Sprinkle with a little sea salt.  Let rise 1 1/2 to 2 hours at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Bake pizza 5 - 7 minutes in oven.  While warm, spread with mayonnaise mixture.   Top with remaining onions caviar, chives, whitefish and lemon juice.  Serve.

 Copyright © 2000 by Cathy Rogers

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Candle Cupcakes

"Making you own menorah is one of the great pleasures of celebrating Hanukkah.  Menorahs can come in all different shapes, made from nearly any materials, as long as each candle is kept separate and distinct from the others and they are in one line with the shammas raised.  These candle cupcakes can be arranged together in nearly any shape -- a circle, square, straight line, or whatever you can imagine -- to form a different and deliciously edible menorah."


Makes at least 12 cup-cakes.  9 to make your menorah and a few extra to enjoy right away



14 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pint chocolate ice cream or frozen yoghurt

Fresh raspberries for garnish



Food processor


Muffin tins

Paper cupcake liners

Large spoon

Hanukkah candles


Adult:  To make the crust, whirl 12 of the cookies in a food processor until ground very fine.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan or microwave and mix well with the cookies.


Child:  Put one paper cupcake liner in each muffin mold.  Using your fingers, press some of the cookie-butter mixture along the bottom and up the sides of each mold.  Try to get the cookie mixture pressed together as smoothly and evenly as you can.  Remove the ice cream or frozen yoghurt from the freezer and let it soften slightly for a few minutes, then spoon it into the cookie molds, pressing down until smooth.  Fill the molds with the ice cream or frozen yoghurt.


Adult:  Place the filled tins in the freezer until they hold together well, about 3 hours or until you're ready to use them.  


Child:  Insert a Hanukkah candle into the center of each cupcake.  Refreeze until very solid in the tins, and wrap well.  (You can even do this a week ahead.)  When ready to make your menorah, remove the tins from the freezer, then carefully remove each cupcake, with its liner, from the tins.  Arrange the menorah as you wish -- in a row or a circle, but make sure to elevate the shammas by placing it on the remaining two sandwich cookies.  Then immediately light the candles and say the blessings.  Of course, this doesn't take the place of the real menorah.  Be sure to blow out the candles before the ice cream gets soft!

From The Children's Jewish Holiday Kitchen, Copyright © 1995 by Joan Nathan

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Sweet Sweet Potato Latke (Pareve)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes Frying Time: About 10 minutes per batch

2 lbs. sweet potatoes or yams

2 Tbs. matzoth meal (or flour)

2 eggs

1 tsp. baking powder

1 - 2 tsp. cinnamon (to taste)

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cloves

peanut oil

Peel and grate sweet potatoes and remove any excess moisture. Beat eggs and add one at a time, mixing well. Add matzoth meal or flour and baking powder. Add spices and mix well.

Heat oil until hot and put large spoonful for each pancake. Cook until brown and flip.

Makes about 18 - 20 pancakes.

Note: For fluffier pancakes, separate eggs. Separate and add yolks where "add

eggs". Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold in egg whites after all other ingredients have been mixed in.

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Gingered Sweet Potato Latke (Pareve)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes Frying Time: About 10 minutes per batch

Use same recipe as above, except:

1. Eliminate spices except for 1/4 tsp. clove

2. Add 2 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger or 1 tsp. powdered ginger.

3. Add 1 tsp. tamari or soy sauce

4. Add two finely diced scallions

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Curried Sweet Potato Latke (Pareve or Dairy)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes Frying Time: About 10 minutes per batch

2 lbs. sweet potatoes or yams

1 apple

1/4 cup milk or soymilk

1/3 cup matzo meal (or flour)

3 eggs

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. curry

1/4 tsp. cayenne

1/4 tsp. cumin

1/8 tsp. fresh ginger

1/4 tsp. garlic

peanut oil

Grate sweet potatoes and apple. Remove any excess moisture. Beat eggs and add one at a time, mixing well (see note above for separating eggs for fluffier pancakes) Add milk.  Add matzoth meal or flour and baking powder.  Add spices and mix well.

Heat oil until hot and put large spoonful for each pancake. Cook until brown and flip.

Makes about 18 - 20 pancakes.

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Green Latkes (Pareve)

Preparation Time; 15 minutes Frying Time: About 10 minutes per batch

2 medium zucchini

1 large potato

1 small onion

3 Tbs. matzoth meal or flour

1 tsp. baking powder

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. salt or soy sauce

1/2 tsp. pepper

peanut oil

Grate zucchini and potato.  Remove excess water (can put in dishtowel or cheesecloth and squeeze out moisture).  Beat eggs and add one at a time, mixing well (see note above for separating eggs for fluffier pancakes).  Add matzoth meal or flour and baking powder.  Add spices and mix well.

Heat oil until hot and put large spoonful for each pancake. Cook until brown and flip.

Makes about 12 - 18 pancakes.

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Colorful Veggie Latkes (Pareve)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes Frying Time: About 10 minutes per batch

1 medium zucchini

2 carrots

2 yellow Finn potatoes

1 red pepper

Proceed as with green latkes, except substituting vegetables.

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Cheese Latkes (Dairy)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes Frying Time: About 10 minutes per batch

2 potatoes

2/3 pound of farmer's cheese, dry cottage cheese, or dry feta cheese

2 eggs

2 1/2 Tbs. matzoth meal or flour

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt or tamari (eliminate if using feta cheese)

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. garlic or 2 garlic cloves

peanut oil

Peel, cube, and boil potatoes. Mash. Add cheese. Beat eggs well and add. Add matzoth meal or flour, baking powder, and spices.

Heat oil until hot and put large spoonful for each pancake. Cook until brown and flip.

Variation: Use one potato and 10-oz. package of spinach (frozen or cooked), well drained and chopped. This is especially tasty if you're using feta.

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Apple Pear Sauce (Pareve)

"While there’s nothing like the traditional applesauce and sour cream, here's a bit of variation. It's easy to make and tastes great."

Preparation Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: About 20 minutes

8 medium apples

5 medium pears

3 tsp. lemon rind

1 tsp. cinnamon (or to taste)

Core and cut apples and pears. Cover well with water and cook until soft. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Put through Foley food mill (I see them often in second hand stores) or force through colander to remove skins and seeds.

Mix in lemon rind and cinnamon.

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Apple Cranberry Sauce (Pareve)

Preparation Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes

9 medium apples

1/2 bag of fresh cranberries

1/2 cup honey or to taste

1 tsp. lemon rind

Core and cut apples. Cover well with water and cook until soft. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Cover cranberries with water and cook until very soft (about twenty minutes). Drain.

Put apples through Foley food mill (I see them often in second hand stores) or force through colander to remove skins and seeds.

Add cranberries, honey, and lemon rind.

Note: Depending how tart or sweet you like your sauce, you can add more honey.

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Potato, Leek and Onion Latkes (Pareve)

Preparation Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes

6 large Idaho potatoes

3 medium or large onions

2 large leeks, about 1 inch in diameter and about 4 inches long, white part only

3 eggs

Kosher salt, to taste

White pepper, to taste

Peel the potatoes and place them in a bowl of cold water. Peel the onions and place them in the cold water also. Cut off the green part of the leek and clean the white part.

Dry the potatoes with a paper towel and process them with a medium shredding disc in a food processor. Process the onions and the leeks also. Mix with the eggs, salt and pepper.

Heat a frying pan and add about a half-inch of oil. Let the oil get very hot. Add a large spoonful of the potato mixture, gently flatten it with the back of a spoon or spatula, and then be patient. Do not move the latkes or peek until they begin to get very brown along the edges. Turn them carefully with a large spatula and a fork to hold the loose potatoes in place.

Cook until golden brown on the second side and gently remove to a brown paper bag on a cookie tray. Be sure to cook these latkes long enough to cook the potatoes through.

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Sweet Potato Latkes (Pareve)

Preparation Time: 20 minutes Frying Time: About 10 minutes per batch

2 pounds sweet potatoes or yams

1-1/2 pounds white potatoes

1 small onion

2 eggs

1/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

dash cinnamon

dash nutmeg

dash cayenne pepper (OPTIONAL)

1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste

Grate the potatoes, or process them in a food processor with a medium or fine shredding disc. Drain the liquid from them and place them in a large mixing bowl. In a food processor, grate the onions. Add to the potatoes. Add the eggs, flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Mix well.

Heat a frying pan until a drop of water "dances" and evaporates. Add about one-half inch of oil and heat well. Add the potato mixture by large tablespoonfuls into the oil and flatten gently. Cook until golden. Turn carefully and cook until done. Remove latkes to a cookie sheet covered with a brown paper bag. The brown paper absorbs the oil and keeps the latkes crisp.

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Grandma’s Potato Latkes (Pareve)

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes depending on the number of latkes

4-5 large potatoes (I like a mix of Russet and Prince Edward Island)

3 very large onions

3 eggs

1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. White pepper or, for very spicy latkes, 1/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4-1/2 cup flour (you may need a bit more as you cook them)

Canola Oil for frying

Peel the potatoes and shred them with the fine blade of a food processor. Peel the onions and shred them also. Remove the bowl and cover and, over the sink, press the potato mixture down and let a lot of the liquid drain out into the sink. Pour the potato mixture into a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients except for the flour. Mix thoroughly. Add just enough flour to make a mixture that is not watery. Set aside.

Heat a large frying pan until a drop of water "dances" across the pan and evaporates. Add the oil until it is about 1/3-1/2 inch deep. Heat the oil through. Add the potato mixture to the pan with a large tablespoon. Let the latkes cook, undisturbed, over medium high heat until you can see that they are golden on the bottom. To avoid splattering, use a spatula and a fork to gently turn them over. Continue cooking until done to your color preference.

Carefully place the hot latkes on a brown paper bag to absorb the excess oil and stay crisp.

Add more oil when needed and let the oil heat for a minute before adding more batter. Hot oil will prevent the latkes from sticking. Repeat until all the mixture is used. As you make each batch of the potato latkes, stir the potato mixture frequently to keep the ingredients well incorporated. Add a little more flour if necessary.

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