From rugelach to sufganiyot, there's plenty of sweet treats to be had during the 8 nights of Hanukkah. No holiday feast is complete without dessert, and these festive, traditional after-dinner snacks are just what you need to cap off the night.
Marionberry Jam Doughnuts (Sufganiyot)
Though doughnuts are amazing when eaten warm, they're also good fried ahead. That's what Jenn does when she makes this traditional Hanukkah dessert at home, so she can focus on her guests.
Cherry and Pistachio Rugelach
You can switch out the cherry preserves and dried cherries for another fruit that comes in both spread and dried form, such as apricot, currant, or blueberry.
Apple Cider Doughnuts
Add apple cider to the dough for these homemade doughnuts, then sprinkle the doughnuts with cinnamon and sugar for a flavor that will remind you of autumn.
Apricot and Walnut Rugelach
It's not a proper celebration of the festival of lights without a batch of rugelach. This classic Jewish cookie which is typically served during Hanukkah is an absolute must when it comes to holiday baking. Made with a super straightforward, 4-ingredient dough in the food processor, this pastry is far from intimidating. In this variation, we used our favorite apricot jam along with some hearty walnuts for the perfect fruit and nut dessert. If you don't have apricots or walnuts, any fruit and nut combination will do.
Sour Cream Babka
Russian immigrants gloried in Easter babkas - enriched yeast breads studded with dried fruits and nuts. For a more traditional babka, omit the amaretto and use dried sour cherries and candied cherries in place of cranberries and raisins.
Winn's Fig and Pecan Rugelach
This is a gluten-free variation of the traditional Jewish pastry. Filled with fig preserves, pecans, and brown sugar, they are the perfect treat for a Hanukkah celebration.
Sticky Cinnamon Roll Babka Buns
If you're looking for decadence, you're in the right place. Though the dough requires multiple steps, the result is a bun that is sweeter, stickier, and more gooey than any bun you've had before. Our chefs joke about wanting to take a nap after experiencing the richness of this dessert. Saigon cinnamon is recommended for a stronger spicy-sweet flavor, but regular cinnamon can be easily substituted. Serve with coffee at brunch or as an afternoon treat.
Sour Cream Doughnuts
The doughnut pan is a must. This $10 investment is worth a lifetime of healthier, oven-baked doughnuts. Find them at various kitchen stores or at amazon.com.
Orange and Cinnamon-Dusted Donut Holes
Donut holes should be warm and doughy and coated in sugar. This gluten-free version is just that--and more.
Israelis enjoy jelly-filled donuts, called soufganiyot (soof-GHAHN-ee-yote), during Hanukkah. The donuts traditionally are fried, but we bake them to trim calories. We found using a plastic condiment bottle (available at supermarkets and kitchen supply stores) is the easiest way to fill the donuts with jelly. Serve this as a snack during Hanukkah. It's not part of our menu because it contains milk; kosher law prohibits serving milk and meat at the same meal. Store at room temperature up to two days.
Prep and Cook Time: about 2 1/2 hours, plus at least 45 minutes to freeze dough. Notes: A trip to New York inspired Jeannie Lee of Marin County, California, to develop this rich, cranberry-filled cookie. Plan to make and chill the cranberry filling before beginning the cookie dough. If you have leftover filling, use it as you would a cranberry relish or jam. You can store the cookies airtight for up to 2 days.
Rugelach, a classic Jewish cookie traditionally eaten during Hanukkah, is possibly the most underrated holiday cookie of all time. With a simple, no-fuss dough that comes together in the food processor, and endless ways to customize each batch, this should be your go-to holiday treat. In this chocolatey iteration, finely chopped bittersweet chocolate provides a rich depth of flavor that kids and grown-ups alike can enjoy. Dunk them in coffee or hot chocolate, or just eat them as-is, these adorable little cookies are fun to make and require ingredients that you probably already have.
Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnut Bites
"Wash these warm, sugary doughnut bites down with a shooter of ice-cold chocolate milk. I like to stick the milk in the freezer about 10 minutes before serving."
Lemon-Poppy Seed Doughnut Holes
Maple-Glazed Sour Cream Doughnut Holes
Sour cream enriches these yeasted doughnut holes. Enjoy them for breakfast or dessert.