Friday, December 21, 2012

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Chanukah Cocktails To Help Light Up the Holiday

From left to right -- The Sufganiyot, The Chocolate Gelt and the Chocolate Egg Cream Shot                  
Check your list of traditional Chanukah foods.
  • Fried Potato Latkes
  • Jelly Doughnuts
  • Choclate Gelt
  • Cheese or Dairy
What's missing?

Something healthy? (Just kidding)
No, something fun to drink.

Now you can add a few liquid delights to the Festival of Lights -- Chanukah Cocktails.

I recently developed some adult drinks for my column in the j. weekly.  These were featured today in a post on The Daily Meal, complete with photos and background information on how I developed the recipes.  The Daily Meal also features a Chanukah mocktail recipe (see below).
The Chanukah Gift
The four cocktails in the j. article are the Chanukah Gift (developed by friend and expert mixologist Sally Ann Berk), featuring Sabra (a chocolate-orange liqueur) and chocolate vodka with a chocolate surprise; the Chocolate Gelt which features a cocoa powder rim, chocolate vodka (which is clear) and Goldschl├Ąger (a clear, gold-flecked cinnamon schnapps); the Chocolate Egg Cream Shot, and the Sufganiyot which has a lemon juice and powdered sugar rim and has vanilla and citron vodkas and Manischewitz sweetened blackberry wine.

The Sufganiyot (which refers to the Israeli and now American custom of having jelly doughnuts as a Chanukah celeberatory treat), has a non-alcoholic version on the Daily Meal site.

Check the j. weekly or Daily Meal links for the recipes.  Here is the Sufganiyot Mocktail recipe.

All the fun, none of the booze
Sufganiyot Mocktail
Makes 1 Drink

Use half lemon-lime soda and half plain seltzer for a less sweet version, or try with 4 oz. of lemon-flavored seltzer.

Lemon wedge
Powdered sugar
1 tsp. raspberry flavored syrup such as Torani
1/2 Tbs. vanilla flavored syrup such as Torani
4 oz. lemon-lime soda, chilled

Moisten rim of champagne flute with lemon. Dip into powdered sugar.  Add raspberry and vanilla syrups.  Carefully pour in soda.  Stir gently.

To make a mocktail (or kid-friendly) version of the very cute and tasty Chocolate Egg Cream Shot, substitute  Torani (or similar) chocolate-flavored sugar syrup for the chocolate liqueur in the recipe.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Make a Candy Menorah for a Sweet Chanukah

This year the Jewish festival of lights starts the evening of December 8.  This delicious hanukkiah (Chanukah nine-candle menorah) celebrates eight nights of sweetness, that is if you can keep your child (or inner child) from consuming it immediately.
Making candy and even marshmallow menorahs is not new, but these “candykiahs” have lots of options for customization. Switch the candy candle “flames” to mini marshmallows (colored ones look impressive) or other small treats.   Skip the lollipop and use an additional pretzel stick-gum drop “candle” for the shamesh, or the taller “helper” candle. Use a bit of the icing to attach gold-foil covered chocolate gelt perpendicular to the front of or flat as a base for each marshmallow.  Use additional decorating gel for designs or lettering on the marshmallows.  Spread additional frosting on the marshmallows and scatter with sprinkles, colored sugar or edible sugar glitter.

If younger children are making the menorahs, have them skip the pretzel stick candles and attach the gum drops directly to the top of the marshmallows with a bit of the icing. 

If you plan to move your creation, be sure to use the sturdy, oval heavy paper plate (I used Chinet 12 5/8” x 10” plates).  Other options include foil-wrapped cardboard or a regular dinner plates.  Be sure any base can accommodate nine of the full-sized marshmallows in a row.

A note about ingredients – you can find all the ingredients certified kosher (heckshered).  Local kosher markets and some Whole Foods stores carry the marshmallows or  they can be purchased on online.  I found kosher gum drops and lollipops at Trader Joe’s, but other brands are available locally and online.  The pretzel sticks, icing and decorating gel were purchased at Target and are widely available.
Chanukah Candy Menorah
You might need extra candy if you have nibblers and extra pretzel sticks to accommodate any breakage. 

For each menorah you will need
10 full-sized marshmallows
2-3 Tbs. of blue or white prepared icing or frosting
8 small gum drops
8 pretzel sticks, optional
1 lollipop
Blue decorating gel (from a tube), optional
Large, oval, heavy paper plate

Place nine marshmallows in a straight or curved line to fit on plate or other base.  Make sure the center marshmallow is snuggly touching the marshmallows on each side (needed for added support). Attach each marshmallow to base with a bit of icing.  Top center “helper candle” with just a bit more icing and attach a second marshmallow (don’t use too much or the top marshmallow will slide around). Push and turn the paper stick of the lollipop into the doubled marshmallow until it is secure.
If using pretzel sticks, gently push and turn into the base of the gum drop.  (If necessary, adults can use skewers to make guide holes for the pretzels).  Holding the marshmallow, gently push and turn the pretzel stick with the attached gum drop into the marshmallow.  Repeat for the 7 other marshmallows.

If not using pretzels, top the 8 remaining marshmallows with a dot of icing and attach gum drops.
If using decorating gel, pipe a Jewish star or other design on the front of center marshmallow.
A version of this Chanukah (or Hanukkah)  post appeared in the December 2012 Temple Beth Abraham Omer.