Easy Hanukkah Holiday Recipes

How is it December already?? I swear I was just lounging in the pool a minute ago. But, no denying it, we are in full blown holiday season and for most of you that probably means you are B.U.S.Y….I know I am! Now after Thanksgiving I am pretty over cooking, at least for a few weeks, but with Hanukkah approaching and Christmas right behind it, I like to use recipes that are both fun and easy to make.


I also hate showing up empty handed, even if it’s to family events, so for this year’s Hanukkah celebrations I made two really easy recipes that I’ve shared with you all below. These Hanukkah Cookies and Crockpot Applesauce are a perfect mix of festive and traditional, and are sure to be enjoyed and appreciated by all!

Hanukkah Iced Sugar Cookies (2-3 hours total prep/cooking/decorating time)

  • Cookie Ingredients (yields about 30 cookies)

    • 3 cups unbleached flour

    • 1/2 tsp baking powder

    • 1/2 tsp salt

    • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)

    • 1 1/3 cups white sugar

    • 2 large eggs

    • 2 tsp vanilla extract

    • Hanukkah (or any holiday) cookie cutters

  • Frosting Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup salted butter (room temperature)

    • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening

    • 5-6 cups powdered sugar (taste after 5 cups)

    • 4 tsp vanilla extract

    • 3 tbsp milk

    • Blue gel based food coloring


    • For the cookies, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt in separate bowl. Then, in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, whip butter until smooth. Add in the sugar to the butter and mix for a few minutes until fluffy. With the mixer on low, add in each egg and the vanilla.

    • When all wet ingredients are mixed, turn the mixer off and add in 1/2 of the flour mixture. If you have it, you can switch out the paddle attachment with a dough hook before adding in the rest of the flour mixture (if not, just keep adding the flour in as usual). A pretty stiff dough should form. Be sure not to over mix the dough. If it is combined and looking like cookie dough, you are done.

    • Remove dough from mixing bowl and form into a round disc shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. I usually make the dough the night before (if you do this, be sure to bring to room temperature before baking).

    • While you are waiting for your dough to chill, you can make the icing. This recipe couldn’t be easier…In a stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, add in the butter, shortening, vanilla, powdered sugar and milk. I suggest adding powdered sugar in gradually so it doesn’t look like the first snow storm in your kitchen (speaking from experience here). If you want your icing a bit sweeter, add in more powdered sugar. And if it seems really dry, add in a bit more milk. You really can’t mess this up! The taste should remind you of those soft sugar cookies with the colored icing and sprinkles you can buy in the supermarket.

      • **This icing is designed to crust over (which is why we add the shortening) so if you prefer that it doesn’t, you can just sub with more butter, but I highly suggest using the shortening, especially if you want cookies that can transport easily.

    • If desired, split the icing in half and add blue food color gel to the icing until you’ve reached the desired color. Kids LOVE the colored icing. Be sure to keep the icing covered while waiting to ice your cookies.

    • BACK to the cookies….

    • Once your icing is done, set the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven heats, cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

    • Remove the dough from the fridge and split in half. Place each piece of dough between two sheets of wax paper and roll until it is about 1/4 inch thick. After rolling the dough out, cut desired shapes with cookie cutters. Any extra dough can be rolled again to yield the maximum amount of cookies.

    • Place cut shapes onto the cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Watch for the bottoms to get slightly golden if you want a crispier cookie (about 11 min), if you want a softer cookie, take them out right at the 10 minute mark or just before. Be sure to move to a cooling rack immediately and cool completely before icing

    • The FINAL STEP - let’s decorate! This is the fun part so feel free to get creative and get the kiddos involved! You can spread or pipe the icing on (if piping, be sure to add a little more milk) and then decorate with any sprinkles or decorations you have! I found great Hanukkah themed sprinkles at Home Goods of all places!

Another super easy dish that makes a perfect topping for latkes is homemade applesauce. This Crockpot Applesauce is also so easy and delicious!

  • Crockpot Applesauce

    • 12 apples (I like Golden Delicious)

    • 1/2 cup sugar

    • 1/2 cup water

    • 1 tbsp lemon juice

    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon.


    • Core, skin, and cut your apples into quarters and place in crockpot. Add in lemon juice and toss (if your crockpot isn’t huge, I suggest doing this beforehand). Toss apples with cinnamon and sugar. Then add water into crockpot.

    • Place top on and turn on high for about 3 hours or until the apples are really soft and can be mashed. Once soft, turn heat off and let cool for about 10-15 minutes. Then, mash the apples with a potato masher to desired consistency.

    • Next…just kidding, you’re done! How easy was that!?

Remember, all of these recipes can be adapted for any holiday and to your tastes! They are both so easy and delicious and you can make them ahead of time! Woohoo!

If you have questions, please feel free to comment below!

Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays!!

XoXo - Jamie

Pumpkin Pie Lactation Cookies

Any other pumpkin lovers here?! I know, I know, I can see the eye rolls for pumpkin and everything fall coming our way, but I have always loved anything pumpkin and at anytime of year! So, when I decided I wanted to make a big batch of lactation cookies I wanted to somehow incorporate pumpkin into them.  Now don’t let the word “lactation” freak you out haha, I promise these cookies don’t have anything in them that is going to make you spontaneously produce breast milk and they are totally okay for anyone to eat! But, they do have the added benefit of some ingredients that can help to boost your supply if you’re looking to do so!  


Now, full disclosure, this recipe is an adapted version of one from Premeditated Leftovers. I’ve made some modifications to create what I think is a slightly better tasting and less sugary cookie. I’m also including some tips for making this without the Brewer’s Yeast in case that isn’t your thing. 

Also, a note on Brewer’s Yeast. Basically it’s a nutritional supplement and not just for breastfeeding mamas. It’s full of B vitamins, probiotics, and can have some great healthy benefits too! (Now I’m not a doctor so you should always ask your doctor if taking a new supplement or if you are wanting to know more, I’m just going off of my personal experience and research and in no way should it be construed as medical advice). That being said, I just wanted to make it clear that you don’t need to be afraid of it in the cookies! It’s in bread, beer, etc. 

Alright let’s get down to the recipe.  First, the ingredients: 

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour 
  • 1 1/2 Cup of Oats (I used Old Fashioned Oats)
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar 
  • 1 Cup White Sugar (or Coconut Sugar works here)
  • 1 Tbsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice (Recipe below) 
  • 3 Tbsp. Brewer's Yeast - I've linked the one I found on Amazon for the best price!
  • 2 Tbsp. Ground Flax Meal 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 
  • 1 tsp. baking soda (don't add this until LAST..I'll explain why later)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened to room temp (Tips: 1. I use one stick of salted, 1 stick of unsalted butter...it's your preference whichever you'd like to use. 2. Don't microwave your butter, let it sit out or else you will get tough, chewy cookies)
  • 1 egg, beaten 
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 
  • 1, 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree (plain pumpkin, not pie filling which is "pre-seasoned")

Pumpkin Pie Spice: 

  • 2 tsp. cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger 
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice 
  • **this will make more than the 1 Tbsp. needed for the recipe, but always good to have on hand

STEP 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

STEP 2: Mix the flour, sugars, pumpkin pie spice, yeast, flax, oatmeal, and salt together with a whisk or wooden spoon in large bowl.  Do NOT add the baking soda yet!


STEP 3: Combine the softened butter, beaten egg, and pumpkin in a different bowl using a hand or stand mixer until combined.  It will look a little chunky, but that's okay!

STEP 4: Gradually add in the "wet" pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients using a wooden spoon. You'll have to use some muscle here and you should end up with a pretty sticky cookie dough by the end.  Don't worry, it will probably look like it's too runny but I promise it isn't! 

STEP 5: Add the baking soda!  Once all of the ingredients are combined, add the baking soda to the cookie dough mixture.  This is a trick I have learned when baking over the years and it makes for amazingly soft, fluffy cookies every single time!! 

STEP 6: Scoop heaping tablespoons of the dough onto a cookie sheet.  Here's my FAVORITE cookie sheets in the entire world! I recommend using parchment paper too if your cookie sheet isn't non-stick. 


STEP 7: Bake cookies in the oven for 10-12 minutes.  Watch for them to start browning, you don't want the bottoms to get too dark.  When baked to desired doneness, remove and place  onto a cooling rack. 

STEP 8: EAT THEM! They are so good! I recommend storing them in the fridge for prolonged shelf life, or the freezer if you plan to make a ton

You should get about 48 cookies from this recipe.  I doubled it and ended up with 100 something cookies...which was the plan all along because I wanted to freeze them so I can easily grab them and go when the baby is here! Also, feel free to add in things like chocolate chips, nuts, etc.! I added chocolate chips to some of mine and it makes them even more delicious! 


Remember - you can make these without the Brewer's Yeast or modify to your taste! 

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them for me in the comments below!

Happy Baking! 

XoXo - Jamie