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Delicious Twists on Hanukkah Foods

Make your celebration traditional and tasty

potato latkes with sour cream and apple sauce - hanukkah dishes

Potato Latkes — Photo by:James Baigrie/Getty Images

The Festival of Lights, occurring this year from sunset on Dec. 8 through sunset on Dec. 16, provides opportunities to gather friends and family on cold winter nights, sustained by the comfort of home, joy in one another's presence and delicious fried foods.

During Hanukkah, tradition dictates eating fried foods or foods baked in oil, in commemoration of the oil that lit the Temple in Jerusalem for eight nights. Potato pancakes, fritters and doughnuts are commonly served as Hanukkah treats. Try making your own applesauce for the traditional latke topping.

Jesse's Favorite Crispy-Baked Potato Pancakes by Nina Simonds

Potato Latkes by Judy Bart Kancigor

Potato-Chive Cakes by Linda Zimmerman

Chunky Honey Applesauce by Amanda Stine and Mary Garland

While potatoes are the most recognized basis for latkes, other vegetables that also take well to frying, like carrots, sweet potatoes and zucchini, all provide good results.

Vegetable Latkes by Sharon Lebewohl

Aharoni's Pan-Sephardic Leek Latkes by Joan Nathan

Honey-Ginger Carrot and Parsnip Latkes With Crème Fraiche by Anne Bramley

Sweet Potato and Apple Latkes With Ginger Orange Dipping Sauce by Jon Ashton

One of the most well known Hanukkah foods, particularly in Israel, is sufganiyot, yeast doughnuts deep-fried in oil. Cheese often filled these pastries when made by Jewish cooks in Spain, while German Jews created the jelly-filled type and popularized them in Israel in the 1930s. Now, American and Israeli bakers create sufganiyot filled with a variety of flavors, like chocolate cream, vanilla custard or dulce de leche, as well as offering mini versions of the treats.

Israeli Doughnuts by Faye Levy

Soofganiyot With Jam by Faye Levy

In the Middle Ages, the custom of eating dairy foods, particularly cheese, during Hanukkah became widespread, drawn from the story of the Jewish heroine Judith who used cheese and wine to charm and then disarm the Babylonian army that besieged her village. Cheese blintzes and cheesecake are some of the dairy foods that have become common during Hanukkah.

Original New York Cheesecake by Beth Allen and Alan Rosen

Apple-Cinnamon Noodle Kugel With Sour Cream by Faye Levy

Cheese Blintzes by Mimi Sheraton

Of course, cold-weather favorites like brisket and chicken soup will always be welcome on a Hanukkah menu.

Belle's Chicken Soup by Lisa Schroeder

Brisket by Sharon Lebewohl

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