Happy Chanukah! We’re in the first of eight days (and nights) of celebration, presents, and food.
Note for the SEO gods: I mean the holiday with a transliterated name that has at least 13 spellings in English, including Chanuka; Chanukah; Channukkah; Channukah; Hanukah; Hannukah; Hanukkah; Hanuka; Hanukka; Hanaka; Haneka; Hanika; and even Khanukkah.
Chanukah is a minor Jewish holiday. Its proximity to Christmas, though, makes it a “must celebrate” tradition for Jewish families living in cultures where Christmas is all around at this time of year. And I do love Chanukah, no matter how religiously insignificant it is.
The holiday celebrates the Maccabees, a band of feisty Jews in ancient times. It commemorates their military victory over oppressors who had mistreated them and defiled their temple. Chanukah also celebrates a miracle that supposedly happened after that victory. When the Maccabees went back into the temple they relit the extinguished eternal light. However they only had one day’s worth of oil. Miraculously, their one-day supply lasted for eight days. Today we celebrate by lighting a menorah or eight-branched candlestick and reciting blessings for eight nights.
As with every Jewish holiday, food is at the center. The traditional ingredient symbolizing Chanukah is oil, in recognition of the oil used to light the eternal light. While latkes, doughnuts, and other deep-fried foods are the ones most commonly associated with the holiday, these Chanukah Olive Oil Cookies do the job without all the mess.
When I originally posted it, this recipe was part of a food blogging event called (ironically in my case) “Christmas Week.” I celebrated the holiday season with four sweet recipes this week, including another Chanukah cookie – with Gelt! Details about Christmas Week, including the giveaway, follow the recipe for Chanukah Olive Oil Cookies.
These cookies are non-dairy or pareve and not too sweet. My friend Bob had what he called a “moment of hesitation” when I offered him one. He said, “It looked like too much of a health food cookie.” Then he tasted it. As he finished the cookie, Bob announced that its looks were deceiving.
I had to laugh. I’d never thought of these Chanukah Olive Oil Cookies as health food. Far from it. To me, they are reminiscent of biscotti, except in a different shape.
These cookies, studded with pistachios and chocolate, are simple to make. After mixing the dry ingredients in one bowl and the liquids in another, you combine them, create a log, chill it and cut the cookies. The optional step of rolling the log in more pistachios and chocolate is either gilding the lily or a perfect final step, depending on your perspective. I always opt for more. Enough said.
In any event, they are scrumptious and a perfect cookie for dunking in coffee, tea or hot chocolate.Welcome to Day 1 of Christmas Week. This annual event, started in 2012, is hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic. The year this recipe was posted (2015) we had over 35 bloggers sharing festive sweet recipes for the event. Plus we all chipped in for a huge Amazon Gift Card Giveaway.
Participants for Christmas Week:
Recipes from Day 1 of Christmas Week! Please visit all our talented participants:
Pistachio Brittle from Cravings of a Lunatic
Coconut Lemon Raspberry Bundt Cake from Desserts Required
Peppermint Bark from Poet in the Pantry
Eggnog Pound Cake from The Redhead Baker
Quince, Cranberry and Persimmon Crisps from Pineapple and Coconut
Chocolate Fruit ‘n Nut Bites from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Fancy Chocolate Covered Marshallows from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Coffee Cake from Cupcakes and Kale Chips
Marzipan Fruits from The Little Ferraro Kitchen
Eggnog Truffles from Crumb: A Food Blog
Peppermint Fudge from The Bitter Side of Sweet
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes from Amee’s Savory Dish
Gingerbread Cake with Orange Cream Glaze from Comfortably Domestic
Christmas Sweets and Treats from Food Done Light
Spiked Hot Cocoa Gift Mix from Farm Fresh Feasts
Chanukah Olive Oil Cookies from Mother Would Know
Coconut Pralines from Food Lust People Love
Blueberry Overnight Sweet Rolls from My Catholic Kitchen
Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies from Daily Appetite
Chocolate Dipped Gingersnaps from Try Anything Once Culinary
Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Dark Chocolate Almond Cheesecake Cups from Savory Experiments
Bourbon Soaked Eggnog Cake from Cooking In Stilettos
Ginger Snap Cocktail from Food Babbles
Coquito Cinnamon Roll Bundt from Mind Over Batter
No-Bake Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Easy White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge from Big Bear’s Wife
Easy Cream Cheese Cookies from Everyday Southwest
Gingerbread Cookie Bars from From Gate to Plate
Molasses Ginger Cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Apricot Spice Biscotti from Savoring Italy
Christmas Week Amazon Gift Card Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada. Giveaway will run from December 7, 2015 to December 26, 2015. Winners must be 18 years of age. Winners will be notified by email. Winners will be asked a skill testing question.