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Hanukkah's Best Recipes: Traditional Treats Made Easy

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah,the Jewish Festival of Lights, which means it’s officially time to break out all of the traditional recipes and prepare for a truly special celebration.  While many Hanukkah recipes can take a long time to prepare and bake, we’ve put together four of the best, simplest recipes for foolproof Hanukkah favorites, so you have more time to enjoy the evening, light the menorah, and commemorate this beautiful celebration .  Challah, Simple Latke’s, Easy Sufganiyot, and 15-Minute Rugelach are sure to inspire a holiday full of deliciously simple celebration.

Challah Bread
Warm and thick with a touch of honeyed sweetness, this challah takes about 3 hours to make, but it’s quite an easy recipe to follow.
2 1/2 cups very warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup honey
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tablespoon salt
8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Sprinkle yeast over water.  Stir in the honey, oil, salt, and 2 of the eggs.  Begin adding the flour one cup at a time, mixing the dough well after each cup is added.  Once all of the flour is added, knead the dough until it’s elastic and no longer sticky.  Rise for 2 hours.  Turn the risen dough onto a lightly floured board.  Divide it in hald, then divide each half into thirds, rolling the thirds into long thin ropes.  Pinch three of the ropes together at the top, the braid them together, pinching off the bottom end, as well.  Transfer to a lightly greased cooking sheet, and let rise one more hour.  Carefully transfer to an oven preheated to 375 degrees and bake for 40 minutes.  Cool completely before slicing & serving.

Simple Potato Latke’s
Hanukkah wouldn’t be the same without latke’s! Here is a simple, basic recipes for foolproof latke’s every time!
2 cups potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 tablespoon onion, grated
3 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup peanut oil
Place the potatoes in a cheesecloth (or thin dishtowel) and wring to draw as much moisture from the potatoes as possible. In a large bowl, stir together the potatoes, onion, eggs, flour, and salt. Heat peanut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Spoon large spoonfuls of potato mixture into the hot oil. Press the mixture down slightly to form patties that are about 1/2″ thick.

Simple Sufganiyot (Sugared Jelly Donuts)
Kids and adults love the sufganiyot for Hanukkah, but making the little sugared donuts can be time consuming. Here is a simple, incredible recipe that you can make in no time at all!
6 ounces of Kosher vanilla yogurt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 egg
1 cup of flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup strawberry jelly, warmed
1/2 cup granulated or powdered sugar
Mix all of the ingredients together, let rest for 16-20 minutes.  Heat 2-3 cups of oil in a small pot over medium heat (enough to make about 2 inches of oil in your pan). Spoon heaping tablespoonfuls of batter into hot oil, frying until they brown on the bottom. Turn carefully with a pair of metal tongs, then fry on the second side until cooked through. Using a small paring knife, cut a small hole into the side of the donut, the pipe some of the warm strawberry jelly into the center (if you don’t have a pastry bag, you can also just fill a freezer ziploc bag with strawberry jelly and snip off the corner to pipe some jelly inside your donuts).  Toss filled donuts in powdered sugar or granulated sugar.  Enjoy!

15-Minute Rugelach
Wow your friends and neighbors with this no-fuss recipe for incredibly delicious rugelach. The recipe below offers a very simple version of rugelach. If you prefer your stuffed with dried fruits and nuts, feel free to add your favorites on top of the apricot layer before rolling up the rugelach!
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
1/3 cup apricot jam
Sprinkle your work surface with the granulated sugar, then roll out the pie crust over the sugar.  Spread apricot preserves over the pie crusts.  Roll the crusts up and slice them into bite-sized pieces.  Bake in an oven preheated to 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Cool before serving.

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