Custom dictates that Hanukkah is celebrated with a spread of fried foods, in commemoration of the miraculous oil that provided the victorious Maccabees with eight days of light. From classic potato latkes and spiced homemade applesauce, to sweet, flaky rugelach and more, these 16 decadent recipes make the Festival of Lights a tradition worth celebrating—no matter your religion.
These potato pancakes, Bubbe’s original recipe from Avram Honig’s cookbook Feed Me Bubbe, taste just as good right out of the frying pan as they do reheated from the freezer.
A mix of baking apples, such as Cortland and Macintosh, and eating apples like Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious, provides a texture of plump, soft apple chunks suspended in a rich, satiny sauce. Try a mix of varieties such as Fuji, Gala, Jonagold, Braeburn or whatever you find.
Jelly-Filled Donuts (Berliners)
If piping the jelly into these donuts proves challenging, use a paring knife to hollow out the side of the donut, making a cavity for the jelly.
These airy pastries have a dainty elegance due to their flakey cream cheese dough and compact crescent shape.
Sweet Noodle Kugel
Kugel—the creamy egg noodle casserole that’s a staple of Jewish holiday cooking&dmash;gets a Midwestern topping of cornflakes in this Thanksgiving side dish.
These lacy doughnut-like treats, which one makes by pouring batter through a funnel into hot oil, were once known as “plow lines” and were served as a snack to field-workers. It’s believed that the old moniker may refer to the cake’s squiggly lines, which were thought to resemble the reins of a horse-drawn plow.
Author Joan Nathan likes her latkes with applesauce; we find them equally delectable with sour cream. Alternating between onion and potatoes when grating keeps the potatoes from darkening. See the recipe for Classic Latkes »
Fresh horseradish, grated just before using, is essential in this dish; bottled versions won’t give the sauce its assertive heat. Homemade applesauce is most effective for this recipe, though good prepared applesauce will do as well. See the recipe for Horseradish Applesauce »