Hanukkah miracles, lighting candles, delicious treats, all just a few of my Hanukkah favorites. I also look forward to trying new recipes and making dishes that are special to the holiday and a bit more indulgent. These new, somewhat unique and indulgent ideas are fun additions to any Hanukkah menu. Plus you have 8 nights so you have lots of oil infused dishes to indulge in. These are some of my new favorite Hanukkah recipes. They’re fun, delicious, nice and crispy (holiday of oil!) and crowd pleasers every time! And don’t worry, lots of doughnuts and latkes coming next week!

Crispy Fried Chicken Bites

Photos by foodnetwork.com and paleoleap.com

Serves 6

Hanukkah is the time to be frying! Since I don’t fry often during the year, I look forward to making the best of my fried recipes for this holiday. This recipe is a bit different because the marinade has a zesty citrus and soy flavor. If you make the crispy bacon as well I highly recommend stacking a bacon strip on top of a chicken cube and placing a toothpick through them. They make the perfect bite and party finger food.

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • About 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl stir together, lime juice, soy sauce, and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Add chicken and stir to coat. Marinate for about 25 minutes.

Place 1 inch oil in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Warm oil until it starts to gently bubble.

While the oil is heating up, whisk together flour, paprika, salt, garlic and pepper in a shallow bowl. Drain the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Dredge in flour, shaking off excess, then transfer to a plate.

Fry chicken in 3 batches, turning occasionally, until deep golden brown and cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes per batch. (If chicken darkens too quickly, reduce heat.) Transfer to paper towels when finished.

Crispy Candied Fake Bacon

Photo by closet cooking.com

Serves 5

Note* This recipe uses imitation bacon, available in National markets in the freezer section or kosher beef bacon, called “Facon” made by Jack’s Gourmet and other glatt kosher brands.

My boys and all of their friends go crazy for this recipe! It’s addicting! Easy to make and super delicious these candied fake bacon strips have become a holiday staple in our home. They serve well fresh out of the oven or even the next day. I place them on the table with drinks while entertaining or wrapped around fried chicken bites.

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
  • 1 package of frozen imitation bacon strips or kosher beef bacon

Preheat to 350°F.

Mix brown sugar, rice vinegar, maple syrup, and black pepper in a small bowl. Place “bacon” slices on cooling rack set over a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, turn slices, and bake another 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and brush both sides with brown sugar mixture. Return “bacon” to the oven and bake another 5 minutes. Repeat basting every 5 minutes until browned and crisp, about 25 - 30 minutes.

Lemony Turmeric Fried Cauliflower

Photo by saveur.com

I love the tang and crunch in this recipe. Cauliflower has a mild taste on its own so it truly absorbs the rich lemon and olive oil flavor. You can use fresh for frozen cauliflower but be sure to drain and dry the frozen cauliflower well before using. It should be fully defrosted.

  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored and cut into 1" florets
  • 1 1⁄2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 eggs
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Add cauliflower and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to an ice bath until chilled; drain and dry completely with paper towels.

Heat 2" oil in a 6-qt. saucepan until the oil is bubbling. Mix together flour, zest, turmeric, cayenne, salt and pepper to a shallow baking dish. Whisk eggs in a bowl. Working in batches, dip cauliflower in flour, shaking off excess, then egg, and once again in flour. Fry, flipping as needed until golden and crisp, 30 seconds – 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain; season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Classic Orange Zest Olive Oil Cake

Photo from bowlofdelicious.com

Serves 8 - 10

A spin on the traditional vanilla cake, this recipe packs a bunch of flavor with the fruity olive oil and orange flavor. It’s sweet and rich but light enough to be a breakfast cake and can be served warm or cool. Feel free to make a glaze and garnish with more orange zest.

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted margarine
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy milk, non-dairy milk or non-dairy creamer
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of one orange

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan.

In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk the melted margarine with olive oil and soy milk.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs with the sugar and orange zest until pale and thickened, about 3 minutes. Gently add dry and wet ingredients, alternating with dry flour mixture and wet (margarine/oil mixture), starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Pour batter into prepared cake pan.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and the side pulls away from the pan. Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool before serving.

Deep-Fried Cookies

Photo by Taste of Home

Serves 8

Another kid and adult favorite, and don’t kill me, they will ask you to make these over and over again. I’ve tried these at various parties and they are always great, especially right out of the freezer! Use any cookie or wafer, mini pie, or cake, they all come out amazing.

  • 18 Oreo type cookies, pareve equivalent, or cookie of your choice
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup biscuit/baking mix (store-bought if possible, recipe below)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup soymilk, non-dairy creamer or dairy milk
  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting
  • 18 Wooden skewers

On each of eighteen 4-in. wooden skewers, thread one cookie, inserting pointed end of skewer into filling. Freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

In a deep cast-iron skillet or deep fryer, heat oil to 375°F. Place biscuit mix in a shallow bowl. In another bowl, combine egg and non-dairy milk and whisk into biscuit mix just until moistened (do not overmix).

Holding skewer, dip cookies into biscuit mixture to coat both sides; shake off excess.

Fry cookies, a few at a time, until golden brown, 1-2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.

Homemade Biscuit Mix

Can be halved

  • 9 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups shortening (I use a trans fat-free variety)

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place or in the freezer for up to 8 months.