Last-Minute Hanukkah Recipes and Shopping Tips for the Festival of Lights

Make these easy latke and jelly donut recipes or order them to-go from local spots in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill. Plus, where to get gelt, dreidels and menorahs!

This year, Hanukkah begins on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 8 and ends on the evening of Sunday, Dec. 16.

Known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. 

Observing the Festival of Lights goes hand-in-hand with making special Hanukkah foods that typically feature oil as a central ingredient, known as sufganiyot, such as potato latkes or donuts. While many families have their own recipes, below are a few to try during the eight nights.

Hate cooking? Staubitz and Mastellone Italian Deli will be selling the infamous brisket of beef. Over at Shelsky's Smoked Fish, Peter Shelsky offers up a mouth-watering menu of Hanukkah favorites including mini latkes made with schmaltz ($12/dozen), as well as vegetarian and gluten-free versions ($2 each, $21/dozen). Homemade horseradish sauce, chunky applesauce and Door County Whitefish Caviar are all available for toppings. The shop also carries a selection of colorful gelt and wooden dreidels for children.

If you're dashing to a dinner party closer to Court Street, Union Market also has a selection of Hanukkah foods and Divine gelt available for order or purchase. This year, Union Market’s Chef, Mike Ciardi, is serving a different latke for each of the eight days, ranging from Sweet Potato with Ginger, to Wild Mushroom with Porcini Cream, and Beet with Caramelized Fennel Sauce.

Need a shmancy hostess gift or want to dress up your own holiday table? Module R, located at 141 Atlantic Avenue between Henry and Clinton Streets, offers some of the slickest menorahs and dreidels we've come across in materials ranging from silver to plexiglass to concrete. The prices range from $9 to $275, with some models currently discounted. 

Happy Hanukkah!


Potato Latkes


  • 3 medium/large potatoes - washed, peeled and grated
  • 1 egg for every 3 potatoes
  • Approximately 1/4 cup of flour per every 3 potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder per every 3 potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder per every 3 potatoes


  • Grate potatoes, drain off excess juices, add egg(s), flour, onion and garlic powders.
  • Mix well.
  • Place enough oil in a large frying pan to have approximately a half-inch of oil, or enough to cover the bottom half of the potatoes. 
  • Take a heaping soup spoon full of potato mixture and place in hot oil and flatten to make a pancake, approximately a quarter to a half-inch thick. 
  • Cook on medium heat and watch carefully as they go from being done to burnt very quickly. 
  • At medium heat, cook approx. 4 - 5 minutes on each side. 
  • Remove from pan when a medium to dark golden brown.
  • Drain on paper towels then remove to plate. 
  • Best to use tongs to turn the latkes, so oil doesn't splatter. 

Once they are ready to eat, try them with some apple sauce mixed with sugar & cinnamon, sour cream or just a sprinkling of salt.



  • 1 Brisket any size
  • 1 packet onion soup mix
  • 1 can jelled cranberry sauce
  • Orange juice


  • Line deep baking pan with foil.
  • Place brisket in pan.
  • Dice up cranberry sauce and place on top of brisket.
  • Sprinkle onion soup mix on top of brisket.
  • Pour in enough OJ to cover brisket about half way.
  • Cover with foil and bake at 350 until you can stick a fork in it and the fork slides out easily.
  • Approx. 1 hr. per pound.
  • Let cool and cut on the bias

Sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) from chabad.org


  • 2 packages yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 or 5 cups. flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Jelly of your choice for filling
  • Powdered Sugar


  • Mix water, sugar, juice, and yeast.
  • Let stand 10 minutes.
  • Melt margarine and add to yeast mixture.
  • Beat in eggs and salt.
  • Add flour, mixing and kneading by hand to form a soft dough.
  • Let rise 1-1/2 hours.
  • Roll dough 1/4 inch thick and cut circles (approximately 2 inches).
  • Let circles rise 1/2 hour.
  • Deep fry at 400° F about 3 minutes, turning once.
  • Pipe in jelly and roll in powdered sugar.


What are your favorite things to eat during Hanukkah? Do you have any special recipes in your family? Share them with Patch!


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