It can be difficult to find fun Hanukkah kitchen activities for little ones. Making fried foods, like latkes and sufganiyot (jelly donuts), can be dangerous to make with children, and even cut-out Hanukkah cookies require some dexterity. That’s why my family likes making edible hanukkiyot (menorahs).
- Doughnut Menorah: This edible hanukkiyah isn’t messy, but it can be a little sticky. My family made ours by stacking donut holes atop brownies and securing them with toothpicks. The kids decorated the tops of the brownies to make them extra festive, and we double-stacked brownies to make the shamash candle higher than the others.
- Nutella-and-Marshmallow Hanukkiyah: This one requires a few extra ingredients, a little more time, and the willingness to make a bit more of a mess–but it’s worth it. You’ll need regular-sized (not mini) marshmallows, unwrapped chocolate gelt, and Nutella. Line up nine marshmallows, and use a dab of Nutella to “glue” them to the gelt as a base. For the shamash candle, use extra gelt or an extra marshmallow to make it higher. Not a fan of Nutella? Colorful frosting works just as well.
- Colorful Marshmallow Hanukkiyah: "Paint" large marshmallows with milk mixed with food coloring or an all-natural alternative. Then push small birthday cake candles into the marshmallows for a hanukkiyah that you can light, or use pretzel sticks for one you can eat!
- Fruit and Veggie Hanukkiyah: People create all kinds of amazing food art with fruits and veggies, turning them into patterns, faces, animals, and entire scenes. This concept can easily be adapted into an edible hanukkiyah design that lies flat on a plate; no need to figure out how to stand it up. Let the kids go wild with the options: alternate carrot, celery, and zucchini sticks for candles; use red grapes or cherry tomatoes for flames; use whole carrots as candles and kiwi rounds or halved strawberries for flames… The options are endless!
- "Go Bananas" Hanukkiyah: Slice one-half of a banana lengthwise and put the pieces cut-side down on a plate as the hanukkiyah base. Push a raisin onto the ends of pretzel sticks to represent the flames and push each pretzel into the banana to make a row of edible candles.
The best part? Your family can gobble up your homemade hanukkiyot while the Hanukkah candles are burning!
Ellen Zimmerman created Jewish Holidays In a Box to help families discover fun, easy ways to celebrate Jewish holidays. Visit their website to explore holiday kits, games, e-guides, blog posts, and more. Deborah Rood Goldman of the Union for Reform Judaism also contributed to this piece.