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Party Plan: Happy Hanukkah!

Check out fun tips and recipes to help celebrate the Festival of Lights!

We’ve got the right ideas to get you ready for Hanukkah! When it comes to mealtime, start with Beet Latkes and Balsamic and Onion Braised Brisket for a flavorful take on traditional fare. Try some Everything Bagel Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Spiced Orange Chunky Applesauce as well…so delicious! Easy Lemon Raspberry Doughnuts are a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth craving, and no Hanukkah celebration is complete without plenty of Cherry Pistachio Gelt to give away.

Need a few seasonal decorating ideas? Bring a touch of homemade to your mantel or doorway with Hanukkah Garland and Star of David Ornaments. Put the “ate” in “decorate” with these yummy Edible Hanukkah Crafts as well…yum! And make plenty of Hanukkah Greeting Cards with the kids, to show friends and loved ones your Hanukkah spirit!

Hanukkah Greeting Cards to Make with the Kids

Hanukkah Greeting Cards to Make with the Kids

Everyone loves receiving personalized, homemade greeting cards. You and your children can make festive, broadsheet-style Hanukkah cards with just a few simple items that you probably already have around the house!

The directions do include some steps that require scissors or a craft knife, so younger children will need some help and supervision.

Things You'll Need:
  • Bottled glue or a glue stick
  • Cardboard (you can use an empty cereal box or something of similar thickness)
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife and cutting board
  • Blue and white crepe or tissue paper (or any thin, decorative paper)
  • Glitter, sequins, buttons, sparkles and / or other decorations
  • A single-hole paper punch
  • Twine (or yarn)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Wax paper
  • Pencil
  • Markers
Directions:
  1. Have the children tear (or cut) the decorative crepe or paper into confetti. Put all the pieces in a box, dish, or other container and set aside.
  2. Give each child a piece of foil (about 12” each). Place a generous squirt of glue onto the foil and use a paintbrush or slightly damp sponge brush to spread it as thinly and evenly as possible, or brush the foil with a glue stick.
  3. While the glue is still wet, sprinkle bits of confetti, glitter, etc., over the foil. (Let some of the foil show for extra shine!)
  4. Grownup step: On a cutting board, cut cardboard into rectangles with your craft knife. Cut to cardboard to whatever dimensions you’d like the cards to be.
  5. Another grownup step: Using a pencil, draw or stencil Hanukkah-associated shapes (Stars of David, dreidels, etc.) on the cardboard rectangles. Carefully cut out the shapes with your craft knife.
  6. Glue the stenciled card directly onto the decorated side of the foil. (If you’ve used cardboard from an empty package, make sure to glue it with the printed side down.)
  7. When the glue has dried, cover each card with a piece of wax paper and lay a book on top to flatten everything and ensure that the glue adheres well.
  8. Trim the excess foil away from the edges of each card.
  9. If you wish, create multi-panel cards by punching corner or side holes and binding them with twine or yarn.
  10. Write your greetings on the back of the foil with a marker (permanent markers work best so, again, you might want to help the little ones and supervise the bigger ones).

View Party Plan: Happy Hanukkah!

Edible Hanukkah Crafts

Edible Hanukkah Crafts

Store-bought Hanukkah gelt is fine, but wouldn’t it be fun to make your own this year? It's really quite simple!

Homemade Gelt as Good as Gold

All you’ll need are mini-muffin pans, chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and gold foil candy wrappers.

  1. Melt 2 cups of chocolate chips in in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at 30-second intervals, until chips are completely melted. Add ½ tsp. vanilla extract and stir until smooth.
  2. With a spoon, pour 1½ to 2 tsp. melted chocolate into each cup of your muffin pans—just enough to cover the bottoms.
  3. You might need to tap the muffin tin on the countertop to even out the chocolate.
  4. Place tins in the refrigerator and let chocolate set until hardened.
  5. When the chocolate has hardened, turn tins upside down over a clean surface and gently tap them to release the coins. Wrap each chocolate coin in gold foil.

Note: If desired, you can “paint” your gelt with edible gold luster instead of wrapping in foil.

Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel! A Dreidel Made of…Marshmallow?

Here’s another fun Hanukkah treat—dreidels, made out of Paskesz kosher marshmallows! They couldn’t be simpler to make.

Things You'll Need:
  • Paskesz kosher marshmallows, large
  • Mini pretzel sticks
  • Hazelnut spread
  • Chocolate candy kisses
  • Food coloring and fine detail paintbrush
Directions:
  1. Push a pretzel stick through one end of each marshmallow, being careful not to push all the way through.
  2. Place a small dollop of hazelnut spread on the non-pretzel end of the marshmallow.
  3. Working quickly, press the flat end of an unwrapped chocolate kiss onto the hazelnut spread “glue.”
  4. If desired, write your letters (Nun, Gimel, He, Shin) with a fine detail paintbrush dipped in food coloring.
Variation:

Melt candy-coating chocolate until it’s the consistency of chocolate syrup (if it’s too thick, add a little vegetable oil). Follow the instructions above, but then dip each marshmallow into the chocolate coating, working quickly so the chocolate kisses don’t melt. Before the chocolate coating dries, decorate with colored sprinkles.

Lollipop Fun

Kids and grownups alike will love these adorable Hanukkah lollipops. They’re easy to make, fun to decorate with icing or sprinkles, and they make a great gift.

To make 12 lollipops, you’ll need candy melts (blue, or colors of your choice), lollipop sticks, decorating gel and sprinkles.

  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a 2”-diameter drinking glass, trace circles onto the parchment paper with a pencil.
  3. Turn the parchment paper over. You should still be able to see your circles.
  4. Melt the candy melts as directed on the package.
  5. Place about 2 Tbsp. of melted candy into each circle.
  6. Press a lollipop stick into each circle, parallel to the plane of the cookie sheet.
  7. Using the back of a spoon or clean fingers, gently pat the candy evenly to fill each circle. Allow pops to harden (takes about 10 min.).
  8. Carefully remove pops from the parchment paper.
  9. Adorn the pops with decorative icing or sprinkles, as desired.
  10. Wrap each lollipop in clear cellophane. Tie a bow with narrow blue, white, silver, or gold ribbon.

View Party Plan: Happy Hanukkah!

Make a Hanukkah Garland

Make a Hanukkah Garland

Decorate with an easy-to-make Star of David garland.

This darling garland can be made any length you like—to festoon a doorway, the stairway, the mantel, or anywhere you’d like, to add a touch of homemade Hanukkah magic. It’s a great craft to make with the kids as they eagerly await the festivities.

Hang your garland, along with a string of mini holiday lights, for extra seasonal joy.

Things You'll Need:
  • Popsicle sticks, plain or colored
  • Bottled glue or glue stick
  • Decorative beads, buttons, sequins, sparkles, glitter, etc.
  • Yarn, string, or ribbon
  • Kid-friendly paint and paintbrushes, if using plain sticks
Directions:
  1. Glue together the ends of three popsicle sticks to form a triangle. Make a second triangle with three more sticks.
  2. Glue one triangle on top of the other to make the Star of David. Let the glue dry.
  3. If you’ve used plain popsicle sticks, paint your stars, then allow to them dry.
  4. Use glue to add decorations as desired. Allow to dry.
  5. Connect your stars by lacing yarn, string, or ribbon through each one.
  6. Hang your garland and enjoy!

Make the garland a part of your holiday tradition! Store it carefully to use year-after-year.

View Party Plan: Happy Hanukkah!

Beet Latkes

Beet Latkes

Deep-red beets provide an eye-catching, tasty twist on traditional latkes.

Hands-On Time: 5 min.
Total Time: 30 min.
Serves: 6 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. fresh beets, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper, ground
  • Vegetable oil
  • Apple sauce, sour cream, or chives (optional garnishes)
Directions:
  1. Combine beets, onion, eggs, flour, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  2. Heat vegetable oil (cover to about ¼” high) in a 12” skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Drop about 2 Tbsp. of beet mixture into the oil, flattening slightly to form a latke. Cook 2-3 min., until golden brown. Flip, cooking another 2-3 min. until golden brown and cooked through. Repeat this step until all dough has been used up.
  4. Serve immediately. Garnish with apple sauce, sour cream, or chives, if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.
Nutrition Analysis:

Per serving: Calories 80, Calories from Fat 15, Total Fat 1.5g (2% DV), Saturated Fat 0.5g (2% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 60mg (20% DV), Sodium 400mg (17% DV), Carbohydrates 12g (4% DV), Dietary Fiber 2g (8% DV), Sugars 5g, Protein 4g, Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 6%, Calcium 2%, Iron 6%.

View Party Plan: Happy Hanukkah!

Balsamic and Onion Braised Brisket

Balsamic and Onion Braised Brisket

Balsamic vinegar adds a sweet and tangy flavor to slow-braised brisket. Pairs well with Merlot and Bock.

Hands-On Time: 30 min.
Total Time: 4 hrs.
Serves: 8 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
  • 5 lb. beef brisket, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper, ground
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 3 large onions, julienned
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 cup Kroger balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Season both sides of the brisket generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat oil in a 6-qt. (or larger) thick-walled pot (or Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Add brisket and sear on both sides, until it’s deeply golden brown, then remove it from the pot. Add onions and garlic to pot; cook them 6-8 min. until they’re softened and starting to brown.
  4. Deglaze the pot with balsamic vinegar, working up any brown bits from the bottom. Add broth and bring to a boil. Return brisket to the pot. Add rosemary. Cover.
  5. Place covered pot in the oven. Roast 2½-3 hrs., or until brisket becomes tender. Remove brisket from the pot, cover the brisket with foil and allow it to rest 15 minutes before slicing. Slice against the grain.
  6. Spoon cooked onions and broth over brisket and serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

Tip: If you don’t have a Dutch oven, the brisket can be seared on a griddle or in a large sauté pan, then transferred to a roasting pan. Cover the roasting pan tightly with foil before placing it in the oven.

Nutrition Analysis:

Per serving: Calories 520, Calories from Fat 220, Total Fat 24g (37% DV), Saturated Fat 8g (40% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 175mg (58% DV), Sodium 1110mg (46% DV), Carbohydrates 12g (4% DV), Dietary Fiber 1g (4% DV), Sugars 7g, Protein 60g, Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 8%, Calcium 4%, Iron 35%

View Party Plan: Happy Hanukkah!

Everything Bagel Blini with Smoked Salmon

Everything Bagel Blini with Smoked Salmon

Blini meets bagel in this appetizer mash-up.

Hands-On Time: 5 min.
Total Time: 40 min.
Serves: 36 blini | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
  • 1 tsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. dry minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. dry minced onion
  • 1 cup Kroger all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • Additional butter for cooking
  • 6 oz. smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Fresh dill
Directions:
  1. Mix poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic and onion together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Whisk flours, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk milk, egg and butter together. Add flour mixture. Whisk to combine them.
  4. Warm a griddle or large non-stick skillet over medium heat; coat with butter. Spoon about a Tbsp. of batter into skillet to form blini. Cook 2-3 min., until edges are golden brown. Flip and cook an additional 1-2 min., until brown. Remove from skillet; repeat step until all batter has been used up.
  5. Top blini with smoked salmon, a small dollop of sour cream and a spring of dill. Sprinkle with the spice mixture you made in step 1.
  6. Refrigerate leftovers.

Tip: If you don’t have buckwheat flour, substitute an equal amount of whole wheat flour.

Nutrition Analysis:

Per serving: Calories 40, Calories from Fat 15, Total Fat 2g (3% DV), Saturated Fat 1g (5% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 10mg (3% DV), Sodium 55mg (2% DV), Carbohydrates 4g (1% DV), Dietary Fiber 0g (0% DV), Sugars < 1g, Protein 2g, Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 2%, Iron 2%.

View Party Plan: Happy Hanukkah!

Spiced Orange Chunky Applesauce

Spiced Orange Chunky Applesauce

Orange zest and warm spices add a flavorful twist to applesauce.

Hands-On Time: 20 min.
Total Time: 50 min.
Serves: 8 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
  • 3 lbs. apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • ¼ cup Kroger brown sugar
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp. ground clove
Directions:
  1. Place all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed pot. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 30-35 min., stirring occasionally, until apples are tender.
  2. Slightly mash apple chunks, if desired. Serve applesauce warm or cold.
  3. Refrigerate leftovers.

Tip: Try a mix of Granny Smith and McIntosh apples. The McIntoshes will cook down to a saucy consistency while the Granny Smiths will hold their shape.

Nutrition Analysis:

Per serving: Calories 110, Calories from Fat 0, Total Fat 0g (0% DV), Saturated Fat 0g (0% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 0mg (0% DV), Carbohydrates 30g (10% DV), Dietary Fiber 2g (8% DV), Sugars 25g, Protein < 1g, Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 20%, Calcium 2%, Iron 2%.

View Party Plan: Happy Hanukkah!

Easy Lemon Raspberry Sufganiyot

Easy Lemon Raspberry Sufganiyot

A quick, convenient way to make this traditional Hanukkah sweet.

Hands-On Time: 20 min.
Total Time: 25 min.
Serves: 10 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup seedless raspberry jam
  • ½ tsp. lemon zest
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 package (7.5 oz.) biscuit dough
  • Cooking oil
Directions:
  1. Mix jam and lemon zest together in a small bowl in a small bowl. Transfer mixture to a squeeze bottle or a piping bag fitted with a metal round tip; set aside.
  2. Line a plate with paper towels; set aside. Place sugar in a shallow bowl; set aside.
  3. Cover a heavy-bottomed pan with 2-3” of oil. Heat oil to 360°F. While frying (see next step), adjust heat as necessary to keep oil temperature between 350-360°F.
  4. Cut dough into 10 equally sized slices. Taking care not to overcrowd the pan, fry slices 1-3 min. on each side, until deeply golden brown and no longer doughy in the center. Transfer fried sufganiyot to paper-lined plate. Allow them to cool a touch (don’t burn your fingers!).
  5. When sufganiyot have cooled to slightly warm, roll each in sugar. Use the tip of the squeeze bottle to make a small hole in the top center of each sufganiyah; fill with jam.
Nutrition Analysis:

Per serving: Calories 90, Calories from Fat 5, Total Fat 0.5g (1% DV), Saturated Fat 0g (0% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 180mg (8% DV), Carbohydrates 21g (7% DV), Dietary Fiber 0g (0% DV), Sugars 9g, Protein 1g, Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 2%, Calcium 0%, Iron 4%.

View Party Plan: Happy Hanukkah!

Chocolate Walnut Rugelach

Chocolate Walnut Rugelach

Chocolate, walnuts and a dash of cinnamon make the perfect filling for flaky rugelach.

Hands-On Time: 30 min.
Total Time: 2 hrs. 20 min.
Serves: 24 cookies | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 4 oz. Kroger cream cheese, softened
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. fine salt
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon, ground
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • 6 Tbsp. walnuts, finely chopped
  • Powdered sugar, if desired
Directions:
  1. In a bowl, beat butter, cream cheese, vanilla and salt together until creamy. Add flour; mix on low, until just combined. Divide dough in half and roll each half into a ball. Wrap each dough ball in plastic and refrigerate them at least 1 hour.
  2. Heat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
  3. Roll one dough ball out into a 9”-diameter circle. Brush it with about a tablespoon of butter, then cover it with 2 Tbsp. cinnamon-sugar mixture, ¼ cup chocolate and 3 Tbsp. walnuts. Cut covered dough into 12 wedges.
  4. Starting at the wide end of each, roll wedges up and transfer them to paper-lined pans. Place each roll so that the tip is underneath.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with remaining dough and filling ingredients.
  6. Bake 18-22 min., until bottoms of rugelach are golden brown. Let stand 5 min. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
Nutrition Analysis:

Per serving: Calories 120, Calories from Fat 80, Total Fat 9g (14% DV), Saturated Fat 4.5g (22% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 20mg (7% DV), Sodium 30mg (1% DV), Carbohydrates 9g (3% DV), Dietary Fiber < 1g (2% DV), Sugars 4g, Protein 1g, Vitamin A 4%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 0%, Iron 2%.

View Party Plan: Happy Hanukkah!

Cherry Pistachio Gelt

Cherry Pistachio Gelt

Homemade Hanukkah coins with a wealth of new flavors.

Hands-On Time: 25 min.
Total Time: 1 hr. 25 min.
Serves: 8 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
  • 10 oz. dark chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp. dried cherries, chopped very fine
  • 2 Tbsp. roasted, salted pistachios, chopped very fine
  • Gold or silver foil wrappers
Directions:
  1. Brush the cups of a mini-muffin pan with cooking oil, or prepare them with non-stick food spray; set aside. If your muffin pan has fewer than 24 cups, you may need to repeat steps 2-5.
  2. Mix dried cherries and salted pistachios thoroughly together in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high, in 30-second intervals, until melted.
  4. Place about 1½ tsp. melted chocolate into each muffin cup. Top each with a small pinch of cherry and pistachio bits.
  5. Refrigerate 1 hour until solid. Remove from pan; wrap coins in gold or silver foil. Draw coin faces and reverses with marker, if desired.
Nutrition Analysis:

Per serving: Calories 120, Calories from Fat 80, Total Fat 9g (14% DV), Saturated Fat 4.5g (22% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 20mg (7% DV), Sodium 30mg (1% DV), Carbohydrates 9g (3% DV), Dietary Fiber < 1g (2% DV), Sugars 4g, Protein 1g, Vitamin A 4%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 0%, Iron 2%.

View Party Plan: Happy Hanukkah!

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