Tag Archives: Hanukkah

Potato Latkes

When I was a little kid I used to count how many latkes, or potato pancakes, I could eat over the 8 days of Hanukkah; between school and various parties and home my annual latke count was pretty high! Now I don’t have the desire (or cholesterol) to indulge in quite so many latkes each year so the ones I do eat really need to be worth it. These latkes are my favorites by far, my Grandma Belle’s recipe. I can’t remember a Hanukkah yet where these weren’t part of the celebration at some point over the 8 days. I don’t know that there’s anything particularly unique about this recipe, but sometimes things are a tradition for a reason, right? No need to modify anything about these in my opinion. The only thing I’ve changed from Grandma’s recipe is I don’t grate the potatoes and onions by hand anymore. I used to, thinking it was sacrilege not to, but really, there’s nothing in the bible about skinned knuckles being part of the holiday, plus I really don’t have the time. Grating the potatoes in the food processor changes the appearance of the latkes a bit but there’s no difference in flavor. Enjoy with applesauce or sour cream.

Potato Latkes

And a side note, if you’ve never made latkes before…after you make the latkes, you’ll get to enjoy the smell of Hanukkah for several days as the fried latke scent permeates your home. It’s not Hanukkah without it though!

Potato Latkes

Potato Latkes

Yield: about 15 latkes

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vegetable oil plus more for frying

1 small onion

4 medium potatoes

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

applesauce or sour cream for topping

The Recipe

1. In a large bowl beat together the eggs and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.

2. In a food processor, grate the onion and add to the bowl with the eggs. Then peel the potatoes and grate them in the food processor. Both the onion and potatoes can be grated by hand if no food processor is available. Drain the potatoes thoroughly; squeezing as much liquid out as possible will result in crispy latkes. Add the drained potatoes to the egg mixture.

3. Stir in the flour, salt, and baking powder until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

4. Heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Test the oil to see if it is hot enough by putting a small amount of the batter in; if the oil sizzles it is ready. Spoon heaping tablespoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil and flatten slightly. Cook until golden on one side, then flip and cook until golden on the other side.

5. Place on a paper towel to soak up any extra oil. Serve with applesauce or sour cream.

Triple Almond and Olive Oil Cake

Well, I was hoping to post 8 Hanukkah recipes to celebrate the 8 days of Hanukkah and the unusual collision of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving to create Thanksgivukkah, however I’m away from home and my kitchen so sharing some of my favorite Hanukkah and Thanksgiving classics and trying out new recipes is a bit of a challenge. I’ll try to catch up once I get back home from our Thanksgiving getaway.

I received The Holiday Kosher Baker as a gift from my mother-in-law. I was super excited about it because I’m always looking for new ideas for our holiday meals and I immediately flipped to the Hanukkah section and found the recipe for this cake and decided to try it out. Baking outside my own kitchen was a bit difficult and I ended up with a few modifications, but nonetheless this cake was quick to put together and very moist and flavorful with hints of marzipan.

Triple Almond Olive Oil Cake

After preheating the oven and preparing the baking pan with nonsticking cooking spray and parchment to cover the bottom followed by another round of nonstick cooking spray, I sprinkled 2/3 cup (the whole bag) of sliced almonds (ALMOND #1) to cover the bottom of the pan (which later became the top of the cake). I then ground up whole shelled almonds (ALMOND #2) into a fine meal. I beat together granulated sugar, extra virgin olive oil, and eggs in a mixing bowl until they were creamy, then added in all-purpose flour, the almond meal, salt, baking powder, and almond extract (ALMOND #3). I added about 1/2 teaspoon of citrus zest (I used clementine, but would recommend orange) then stirred everything together. I poured the batter into a 8-inch square pyrex dish (the original recipe called for an 8-inch round pan, but I just went with what I had) and baked at 350F until a knife stuck into the center came out clean. The original recipe recommended 35 minutes, but I had to bake mine for 45 minutes. I let it cool overnight (I’m sure 10-15 minutes would be enough), then ran a knife around the edges of the pan, inverted the cake onto a platter, and peeled off the parchment. It’s a lighter departure from doughnuts and latkes and other Thanksgivukkah treats but the oil still harks back to the symbolism of the festival.

Triple Almond Olive Oil Cake

Triple Almond and Olive Oil Cake (adapted from The Holiday Kosher Baker)

nonstick cooking spray

2/3 cup sliced almonds

1 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup ground almonds

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

The Recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Spray the bottom of an 8-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray, then cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. Place it in the pan, then spray again with cooking spray.

2. Sprinkle the sliced almonds to cover the bottom of the baking pan.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, and olive oil until creamy. Add in the flour, ground almonds, salt, baking powder, almond extract, and zest and stir together.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan over the sliced nuts. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a knife stuck into the center of the cake comes out clean.

5. Let cake cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes. Then run a knife around the edges and invert the cake onto a plate. Peel off the parchment paper and serve almond side up.


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