I don’t tend to do much deep-frying in my kitchen. I would rather order foods like French fries in a restaurant than make them myself. But Hanukkah is the exception. During the eight days of Hanukkah I break out my pot of oil and my thermometer and start frying up a storm. It is our custom to eat a different fried food each night of the holiday. We of course enjoy the traditional sufganiyot and latkes but I also like to make other fried treats that might not be commonly associated with Hanukkah, like buñuelos (Colombian cheese fritters) and fried wontons, and banana fritters, perfect quick and easy fried desserts for weeknights during Hanukkah.
I love sufganiot but they are a bit of a project to make. I don’t always have time on a busy day to make the dough and let it rise before rolling, cutting and then frying and filling the doughnuts. I save my sufganiot making for the weekend and stick to quicker recipes, like these, during the week of the holiday when we are all busy.
For those who do not want to deal with deep-frying there is another traditional sweet that is ubiquitous at Hanukkah and doesn’t require any cooking at all. Chocolate gelt. While it is fun and exciting to eat Hanukkah gelt the first few days of the holiday, I find every year that by the end of the eight days there is leftover gelt sitting around that no one really wants to eat. The chocolate gets nibbled slowly when there is nothing better around for a sweet fix, but much of it just sits in the cabinet until we have to toss it for Passover. These baked goods are the perfect solution to that problem (or even a reason to buy extra gelt on purpose). From cookies to pie to challah, we have a way.