Tag: chanukah

Jelly Ring Donuts

No need to rub your eyes, you’ve read that right. I’ve made JELLY. RING. DONUTS. I know they look like jelly rings. But these right here ^^^ are raspberry jelly infused baked chocolate donuts that taste EXACTLY like the candy. It’s a Chanukah miracle!

It all started with my husband’s birthday. He was turning 36 and his office put together a little surprise party. Apparently, they heard that I’m a “Chef”, so they asked me to bake something. Little did they know, I don’t do birthday cakes, but I decided to come up with something fun anyway.

JELLY RINGS are my husband’s all time favorite treat, so I decided to create jelly ring cupcakes. I baked up my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe and I filled them with raspberry donut jelly and topped them with chocolate frosting stuffed with a jelly ring. I even piped them and everything!

But I’m not a baker. So even though I carefully packed up those babies in foil pans and stuffed them in the corner of my trunk with a prayer, lets just say they did not make it in one piece. The frosting, which I had piled on high, did a little birthday jiggle with each turn of my car, and by the time I excitedly opened my birthday surprise, I was not looking very cheffy (understatement).

Everyone was nice enough to eat them anyway, and the consensus was: they might look like a poop emoji, but they taste like JELLY RINGS! Luckily, I had a few cupcakes set aside at home for my kids, so I was able to show my husband what his birthday cupcakes were supposed to look like. I posted a pic on Instagram and apparently my husband is not the only guy to love jelly rings. Lots of people asked for the recipe, so I decided I’d post it.

Fast forward a couple of days and I got an email from my blogger friends who wanted to do a Virtual Chanukah Party like last year. They had decided on a donut theme and I was in! When I thought about what donuts to make, I realized that I could turn my jelly ring cupcakes into donuts and have them not only taste like jelly rings, but look like them too. GENIUS right?!

So I set out to test the perfect baked chocolate donut. Something chocolaty and moist, but without that pudding-texture of the Hershey’s recipe. It took three tries but I finally hit the nail on the head. I used my handy dandy syringe to infuse the donuts with raspberry donut jelly, and I dipped it in melted chocolate. The results were beyond my expectations! The donuts look practically identical to jelly rings, and THEY TASTE EXACTLY LIKE THEM too! Seriously people. Jelly rings in donut form. So much YESSSSS!

Now I’m not the only one who blew it out of the water with my donut creation. Check out these awesome recipes from our VIRTUAL CHANUKAH DONUT PARTY!

Savory Hatch Chili and Cheddar Donuts from LittleFerraroKitchen
Savory Sufganiyot Hanukkah Doughnuts with Chopped Liver Mousse & Manischewitz Glaze from WhatJewWannaEat
Cake Donut Bread Pudding with Vanilla Glaze from KitchenTested
Deep Fried Brownie Fritters from OvertimeCook

We’ve also got a special Chanukah giveaway package that’s happening exclusively on Instagram, so head on over to enter!


This post is sponsored by California Gourmet Chocolate Chips. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   View the list of over 300 stores that carry the brand here).

Related Recipes:

pecan pie lace cookies with raspberry jam and chocolate drizzle
cheese latkes with raspberry sauce
candy mosaic Chanukah tray

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{Falatkes} Falafel Latkes with Harissa Tahini

There really is no outdoing my poutine latkes from last year. The latkes went so viral, that I cooked them up for the Wall Street Journal and did a latke segment for The Meredith Vieira Show. HuffPost Canada went gaga over them and the rest is history.

I’m not one to rest on my laurels so I had to really blow it out of the water this year. It’s a good thing I had an entire year to think about it! I knew I wanted to go in the Israeli direction, because my food has been really influenced by the amazing flavors and spices of Israeli culture and cuisine. And what’s more quintessentially Israeli than falafel?

When falafel latkes, or as I coined them, FALATKES, came to me, I was beyond excited at the prospect of creating a beanless falafel dish! I prepared my batter, scooped it in the sizzling oil and my brain went crazy. Was I smelling latkes or was I smelling falafel?! I was smelling both!!

And then I took a bite of their crispy goodness and Oh. Em. Gee. I was eating potato latkes. And I was eating falafel. {MINDBLOWN} Poutine latkes – outdone.

If Chanukah wasn’t my favorite holiday before, it is now! Not only was I born on the fifth night, but I got married on my birthday and as I celebrate my 35th birthday, along with my 13th wedding Anniversary, I will be munching on this deeelicious fried goodness. It’s going to be a very happy birthday indeed!

Now, when you create the ultimate Chanukah latke, you have to top it with the ultimate sauce. Tahini is my jam so I made it my favorite way – with delicious spicy harissa mixed in for a deep, rich and spicy flavor. I am legit obsessed with Mina harissa that I tasted at Kosherfest just a couple of weeks ago. It’s spicy, but it’s also kind of sweet, which is never something I expected to find in a harissa. It’s got such a homey small-batch flavor, I just want to slather it on everything! And don’t even get me started on their shakshuka sauce. I can’t wait to create some amazing recipes with it!

If you’re a fan of harissa, don’t forget to try my harissa whipped feta with za’atar eggplant chips. They’re perfect for Chanukah, when it’s traditional to eat dairy foods. You can even fry up the za’atar chips to really get into the Chanukah mood. My confetti latkes with harissa sour cream are another favorite and if you want to go healthy, definitely go for my cauliflower nachos with harissa cheddar sauce. Told you I love harissa. Of course, if you’re looking for other fun Chanukah recipes, don’t forget to check out my Chanukah category, as well as the Chanukah section in my new RECIPE INDEX!  You’ll find amazing appetizers and desserts that are perfect for you Chanukah party.

In the meantime, here are some great tips for making the ultimate crispy latkes!

1- Make sure to squeeze out as much liquid as possible out of your potatoes and onions using a cheesecloth or kitchen towel.
2- Use little-to-no flour to bind the mixture. The potatoes natural starch is usually enough to keep it together.
2- When the batter sits, it tends to get liquidy, so make sure to squeeze out as much moisture as possible before frying.
3- Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop out your batter. Pack the batter into the cup and place in the hot oil. Use the bottom of the cup to press down on the latkes, creating crisy, lacy edges.
4- Remove your latkes from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain, but immediately remove to a rack so the latkes stay nice and crisp.

Happy Frying!


This post was sponsored by Mina. All opinions are my own. View Mina’s amazing assortment of harissa and shakshuka sauce here or follow on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

Related Recipes:

confetti latkes with harissa sour cream
harissa whipped feta with za’atar eggplant chips
cauliflower nachos with harissa cheddar sauce
falafel burgers

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Beer Battered Pumpkin Rings

I seem to create trends for myself when it comes to the holidays. Of course every Chanukah there’s a latke, and every Purim, a hamantasch. But it’s more than that. Every Succot, I post a different type of mechshie (a Syrian stuffed vegetable dish), every Purim, I do something else with salami. And it seems, every Chanukah, I post something with gourds (different varieties of pumpkin).

It wasn’t really on purpose, and I didn’t even realize it until I made these! First there was my amazing zucchini parmesan chips, then my Thanksgivukkah pumpkin ricotta cheese latkes with cranberry syrup (you MUST make these for Chanukah morning, they’re insanely good!), and finally my gluten free butternut squash latkes with ginger applesauce and curried sour cream.

This year, I’m continuing the trend using delicata squash – a small mild-flavored squash with an edible peel (you gotta love the no-peeling!). To make the most of my fried pumpkin idea, I decided to coat the squash in pumpkin beer batter. If you’ve never tried a pumpkin ale, it’s got a hint of pumpkin flavor from vine ripened pumpkin and harvest spices. It’s definitely up there with one of my favorite drinks, as well as one of my favorite batter ingredients!

What beer does for tempura batter is truly amazing. You can google it, of course, but  basically the foam, alcohol and carbon dioxide in the beer cause a chemical reaction when it hits the hot oil. It results in an incredibly crisp and light batter. And who doesn’t love a light and crispy coating?

It’s Chanukah after all, so exploring the best type of batter for deep frying is exactly the sort of research we should be doing! Fried latkes and donuts are all good, but there’s nothing like a deep fried oreo, some tempura-fried veggies or sweet and delicious apple fritter rings.

Traditionally, beer batter is used more in savory dishes, but I love to shake things up, so I added a little sugar and some more pumpkin spices, to really bring out the pumpkin flavor. What you get is an ultra-crunchy light coating that pair perfectly with what’s inside….delicata squash.

The only thing better than the pumpkin beer batter is what I put on top! Some cinnamon-scented powdered sugar! And to really take it to the next level, I created a maple GREEK yogurt dipping sauce – as an ode to the Chanukah miracle!

Now when you look at these beer battered pumpkin rings – what do you see? Come on, you all know you’re thinking of it…DONUTS! I love that these look just like the traditional fried Chanukah dessert, yet they’re something else entirely! How fun is that?!

And when you top ’em off with the thick Greek yogurt sauce, it looks just like frosting. And believe me when I tell you – this sauce is probably the best frosting you’ll ever taste! It’s even good for you – so how’s that for deguiltifying the whole beer-battered deep fried rings thing. They’ve even got squash inside, so you’re technically just eating veggies with greek yogurt, right? ;)

To get the recipe for my Beer Battered Pumpkin Rings with Greek Yogurt Dipping Sauce, head on over to my guest post on THE NOSHER!

Other Fried Chanukah Recipes:

zucchini parmesan chips
confetti latkes with harissa sour cream
gluten free butternut squash latkes
corned beef arancini
french fried chicken nuggets
spinach falafel burgers

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Zucchini Parmesan Chips

A couple of months ago, a bunch of kosher bloggers and I went out to celebrate the anniversary of The Kosher Connection (a group that we formed that presents monthly challenges to kosher food bloggers). We all met at Siena’s, a dairy Brooklyn restaurant on Kings Highway to have some fun and enjoy good food. And that we did. One of the first things they served us were crispy tempura-fried zucchini chips with marinara sauce for dipping. Those chips were completely addictive and being pregnant at the time, I repeatedly craved them throughout my pregnancy!

Fast forward a couple of months later and I’m craving those chips again. With Chanukah in mind, I decided to try a breaded version, with some parmesan mixed in. Eating fried foods on Chanukah is a well known custom (to commemorate the miracle of the oil), but eating dairy is as well. We do so to remember the bravery of Yehudit, a young widower who lived in Bethulia in the land of Judea. To save Jerusalem from a paralyzing siege and approaching enemy troops, Yehudit seduced a Greek general into a drunken slumber by feeding him salty cheese and quenching his thirst with strong wine. As the general slept, she beheaded him with a sword. After finding that their general had been killed, the Greek army fled in disarray.

So not only do we gorge ourselves on fried doughnuts and chocolate gelt – we also add dairy to the mix to really tip the scales! Thanks to the zucchini in this recipe, you get to deguiltify the whole deep-fried thing altogether! Which reminds me…

I made these zucchini chips on a Wednesday morning. I remember because right after they came out of the fryer, I went out to pick up the New York Times. You see, I’m not much of a newspaper-reading gal, but on Wednesdays, the paper includes a fantastic Dining supplement and I just have to have it. To my amusement, the front page of the Dining Section was dedicated to the art of deep frying. It read, “Deep Fried and Good for You.” Talk about deguiltifying.

In the article, Mark Bittman reasons that deep frying is not all that bad for you, since fat is actually good for you. He concedes that not all fats are created equal and continues on to reject the notion that olive oil is inappropriate for frying. Since most deep-frying is done at around 350 degrees, and olive oil smokes at 375, it’s a fine option, he says.

I turned the page to continue the article and found that Mark had included a recipe for fried zucchini sticks, similar to the chips I had just made. “Mark says they’re good for you,” I told myself as I continued to eat the whole pan (did I mention I was pregnant?!).

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DIY Candy Mosaic Chanukah Tray

While this blog has become mostly about food, I still try and put on my crafting apron every once in a while, especially around the holidays. When I was given the opportunity to develop a craft for the Joy of Kosher Mike ‘n Ike Campaign – I was all over it. But coming up with a craft using oblong shaped candy isn’t as easy as it looks.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried lighting a handful of menorah’s on a small plastic table with oily wicks and colorful candles scattered everywhere. It’s not pretty. Usually, we just wrap our table with aluminum foil for easy cleanup. But the truth is, I’ve always wanted a pretty tray to make the table look more festive. Making your own tray using a picture frame is pretty easy, and sprucing it up for Chanukah is all in the details.


To vamp up the Chanukah flair, I created dreidel handles by gluing two draidel to the sides of the frame (gimmel-side-up, of course!). Then, I turned to my bag of colorful (and tasty!) Mike & Ikes to create a custom candy mosaic under the glass. The candies had my kids squealing with excitement, as they watched the mosaic unfold into different shapes.

I spread double sided tape onto a paper that fit perfectly inside the frame matte. Then, I went to work “drawing” different shapes with candies. I tried creating a menorah, writing the word Chanukah in Hebrew, designing a dreidel and a Star of David. It takes some work maneuvering the candy around until it fits perfectly. One of the best parts about creating the candy mosaic, was noshing on the candy as I was doing it! I needed half of a Mike & Ike in some spots, and my kids were all too happy to “cut” the candy in half, with their teeth.


I love how versatile this tray is. You can make a big one for the whole family, or individual small ones for each menorah. And it doesn’t have to be just for Menorah lighting.  You can also use it to serve candy at your Chanukah party.

Imagine a collection of trays to adorn your Chanukah set-up. You can make individual ones as a school craft, or set one out at your party to collect Chanukah gelt for the kiddies!

Imagine a tray to display your collection of dreidels! Or one where the kids gather around to play (and bet!)


I encourage you to use your imagination in creating a fun candy mosaic. Draw Chanukah symbols, or abtract “art”.  It doesnt’ really matter – it’s candy, and no matter what you do with it, it will look awesome!

The most important thing is to have fun, no matter how you decorate! For detailed instructions to create this candy mosaic Chanukah tray, head on over to Joy of Kosher.

Other Mike & Ike Crafts & Recipes:

Mike & Ike Butterfly Candy Craft
Mike & Ike Menorah
Mike & Ike Rainbow Cake
Mike & Ike Rice Krispy Treats
Mike & Ike Bejeweled Sugar Cookies

Other Chanukah Crafts:

Chanukah Wall Hanging Craft
Dreidel Snowglobe

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