Are you making light?

This is the question I tend to ask myself around this time of year.Rainbow

At Chanukah, which begins on December 16, we celebrate how light – in all its forms – can triumph over any darkness.

Creating this light in every moment and every interaction is a choice. Whether it’s a meal for someone hungry, support for a friend in crisis or simply a smile and kind word for someone in need, making light is what it’s about.

Here are two of my favorite Chanukah recipes which will surely light up your family’s faces. My best wishes to all of you for a holiday season full of light!



  • 4 – Medium russet potatoes, grated
  • 2 – Large vidalia onions, sliced
  • 3 – Eggs
  • 3 tsp – Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp – Ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp – Baking powder
  • ½ cup – AP flour
  • 1 cup and 2 tbsp – Canola oil


  1. Preheat oven to 300* and line one baking sheet with paper towels and place a wire rack inside a second baking sheet
  2. Add 2 tbsp of canola oil and sliced onions (with a generous pinch of salt and pepper) to a large skillet over high heat. Once you hear a sizzle, lower the heat to medium-low and cook until onions are caramelized (soft, light brown and sweet). This could take up to 40 minutes – stir regularly and add a splash of water if onions begin to burn. Set onions aside in a large bowl and cool.
  3. Grate potatoes (I keep the skin on mine and grate in a food processor) – place grated potatoes in a clean dishtowel and squeeze out all the excess liquid
  4. In a bowl, combine the grated potatoes with the caramelized onions, eggs, baking powder, flour, salt and pepper
  5. Heat the remaining 1 cup of oil in the skillet over medium-high heat and when hot (test it by dropping in a bit of the latkes mixture – it should sizzle but not smoke) drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the oil and flatten with a spatula – flip after 2-3 minutes and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side to ensure a golden brown color on both sides. In between batches, remove any stray bits of potatoes from the pan as they will burn.
  6. Transfer cooked latkes to the paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain and then onto the second baking sheet with the wire rack and place it in the oven to keep these latkes warm while you finish cooking the rest
  7. Serve with sour cream or applesauce



  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 oz almond paste
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 drops blue food coloring
  • 12 oz apricot preserves, heated and strained
  • 12 oz high-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Butter three 9 X 13 baking sheet pans and line with parchment paper
  3. Beat almond paste in stand mixer until smooth
  4. Add butter and sugar and beat until fluffy
  5. Add almond extract and then eggs, one at a time
  6. Add flour and salt – only beat until combined
  7. Divide batter into thirds and place 1/3 in one bowl and 2/3 in a second bowl
  8. Add blue food coloring to one bowl
  9. Spread each 1/3 of batter into its own pan and bake each for approximately 10 minutes and cool on a wire rack
  10. Once cooled, place one of the blue cakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  11. Spread preserves on it and place the plain cake on top
  12. Spread preserves on plain cake and place the other blue cake on top
  13. Freeze for 1 hour to set jam
  14. Spread melted chocolate on top and on sides – chill for 30 minutes to set
  15. Flip cake onto another piece of parchment paper and spread chocolate on the other side – freeze for at least one hour
  16. While still frozen, slice cake into 1 ½ inch logs and slice logs into individual ½ inch cookies. Allow cookies to defrost before serving
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