Hanukkah—the eight day Jewish holiday known as the Festival of Lights—begins on December 18 this year, which means it’s almost time to dust off the menorah and start planning your menu. Whether you’re hosting a Hanukkah celebration or simply hoping not to show up empty-handed to someone else’s, it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with some of the holiday’s tastiest treats.
According to Gadi Peleg, owner of Breads Bakery, Hanukkah is all about the miracle of oil, which means fried foods take center stage—and this is true of the dessert menu, too. Indeed, Peleg tells us that “the sweet most associated with the holiday is the Sufganiya, a fried donut, but really a Berliner,” adding that the most beloved sufganiyot is one that’s filled with strawberry jelly and dusted with powdered sugar.
That said, the task of frying donuts in a huge vat of oil can be a tad intimidating for the average home baker. Fortunately, our list of the most festive Hanukkah cookies is a clever workaround that will allow you to bake a treat that suits the occasion without straying too far from your comfort zone in the kitchen. And sure, it may not be the most traditional Hanukkah dessert (“the cookie is likely an American tradition which was borrowed from Christmas,” Peleg tells us) but it’s sure to go down a treat at your holiday celebration, plus be a project that the whole family (toddlers, too!) can get involved in. Hanukkah Sameach!