top of page

Hanukkah 2023


Lion of Judah Zoonorah Menorah

This playful take on the traditional  Lion of Judah menorah was originally designed for The Jewish Museum’s family Hanukkah day. A huge hit, it has become my favorite no-bake menorah. 

The smallest hands in your family can join in making this sweet menorah. 

What you need ...

*Crispy rice cereal bar 10” long x 2” high x 2” wide                    

1 ½ cups frosting

**Food colors to tint frosting - yellow, green and brown

1 vanilla wafer or another small round cookie

60g    candy clay tinted yellow (about 2 rounded tablespoons) 

Black edible food marker (option: use frosting to pipe on facial details)

6 pretzel sticks

9 spice drops

2   tablespoons colored sprinkles

1   teaspoon chocolate sprinkles

Animal crackers

Display board to set the menorah on

For a festive display board, cut a rectangle 12” x 3” from sturdy cardboard or foam core board.   

First cover the board in Hanukkah wrapping paper; then wrap in clear plastic wrap. 


*A firm pound cake or brownie can be substituted for the crispy rice cereal bar.

**1/4c chocolate frosting can be substituted for brown tinted frosting.

Let's do it ...

Lion's head


Spread a thin coating of frosting over the vanilla wafer and set aside.

Measure heaping teaspoon of candy clay.  Roll into a ball.  Flatten ball into a circle large enough to cover the frosted wafer. 

Lay the candy clay circle over the frosted wafer.  Stretch and smooth the candy clay as needed; trim off excess and smooth rough edges with fingers.

Set aside uncovered to firm up.



For paws, measure ½ teaspoon of candy clay.  Roll into a ball and cut in half. 

Shape halves into tear drops and flatten just a bit. 

Make three indents for the lion’s toes.  Set aside.



For ears, roll small pea size balls of candy clay into balls. 

Flatten balls and shape into ears.

Press a tiny piece of red spice drop into each ear as shown.

Set aside.



Measure heaping tablespoon of candy clay.  Roll into a 7”  long rope. 

Flatten one end slightly, as shown.  Dip this end into chocolate frosting; top with chocolate sprinkles.  Set aside.

Tint the frosting

Tint 1 cup of frosting yellow.

Tint 1/4 c   green

Tint 1/4c  brown

Keep tinted frostings covered until ready to use

Shamash and Candles

For the shamash break one pretzel stick into  a  3” long piece.

For the candles break remaining pretzel sticks into pieces 1 ½” long.

Insert pretzel pieces into spice drops.

To add flame, dip pretzel tip into yellow frosting.

Set candles aside until ready to use.

Menorah base


Place crispy cereal bar on a piece of parchment or wax paper. 

Frost the front and both ends, as shown.  Do not frost the top and backside of the bar.

Pour colored sprinkles along the bottom edge of all the frosted sides.  Press sprinkles into the frosting to form a colorful border.  Brush away excess sprinkles.

LRmenorahboard on bar_edited.jpg
LRflipped base1_edited.jpg

Place the display board over the menorah base, with the display board bottom facing up as shown in the middle photo.

Flip the menorah base and display board so the sprinkles border is now on top, as shown in the bottom photo.

 Frost the top and back side of the menorah base.



Pipe a thick line of green frosting along the top back edge and the bottom front and side edges, as shown.


To form the blades of grass, place the back side of a fork into the frosting; using very short strokes, pull the fork up.  Set aside.

Facial features


Use a black food marker to draw a  wide “w” for the mouth.

Add dots for the whiskers. 

Add larger dots for the eyes and curved lines for the eyebrows.

For the nose, roll a tiny ball of red spice drop and glue to face with dot of frosting, or use a red food marker to add a dot, as shown.

Mane and ears

Place lion’s head on a small piece of parchment or wax paper.

Pipe a very thick ring of frosting around the head. Do this by piping a little bit, then turn the paper and pipe a bit more; continue piping and turning until you have gone around the entire head.

Place the tip of a fork in the frosting and pull the fork up and away from the head in very, very short strokes. Just as you did for the grass.  

Add the ears.  Add chocolate sprinkles.

Place in freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.  Once the frosting is firm, you will be able to easily peel off the paper backing. 



Remove the head from the freezer, peel off the paper and gently press head onto menorah front,

as shown.  If necessary, use a small dab of frosting to secure the head to the menorah.


Add paws, tail, and animal crackers.


Glue candles to menorah top with a dab of green frosting. If desired, use a toothpick to create blades of grass around the base of each candle.

Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah 2022

 Sweet, Savory and Simple too!


 Decorative menorah boards

Little Debbie Cakes Menorah


Quick, easy, bursting with color.  Pre-decorated snack cakes make this so simple and quick to do.  One grocery store trip and you're set to start.  Great fun for all the little hands at your family Hanukkah party.

What you need ...

 36    mini-marshmallows

    2    Little Debbie Unicorn snack cakes or other pre-decorated cakes

    5    strands spaghetti

          Frosting (a scant cup is sufficient)

          Variety of colored sprinkles 

          Yellow food coloring

          Decorative menorah board 12"  

Let's do it ...

To make the candles


Break the spaghetti strands into 9 pieces, each should be 4" long. On eight of these pieces string four mini-marshmallows, as shown. Leave enough spaghetti at both ends to easily hold the candle.

Now for the shamash, string six mini-marshmallows.      


Thin 1/3 cup frosting with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon warm water.  The consistency should be like a very thick syrup.   Place the thinned frosting and the sprinkles in shallow plates.  Use separate plates for each variety of sprinkle.

Roll the marshmallow candle in the thinned frosting.  Tap off excess frosting.

Roll the frosted candle in sprinkles.  Tap off excess and set aside to dry.

To make the menorah base


With a dab of frosting, glue two cakes to the menorah board as shown.


Tint ¼ cup frosting yellow.  Place in a piping bag, cone, or zip seal bag.    Pipe a decorative border to cover the bottom and side edges, and the center seam, as shown.

Before adding candles, trim the spaghetti ends, so that ½” protrudes from the bottom and ¼” from the top of the candle. 

Stick candles into menorah base.  Pipe yellow flames with remaining frosting and you're done!

Crushed Candy Rainbow Menorah


Whip up a batch of crispy rice cereal treats, open a can of frosting, crush some candy and you've got this cheerful rainbow menorah.  Finish it off with Kooky Pretzel Candles or if you're pressed for time, simply use plain pretzel sticks for the candles. 

What you need ...

1 recipe    crispy rice treats for shaping and decorating

1 cup         frosting (1/2c for the cereal squares, 1/2c for decorating)

18               lollipops in assorted colors*

   9              Two-inch-long   Kooky Pretzel Candles (Hanukkah 2021) 

Decorative menorah board 22" or longer

   * If using sour balls or other hard candy, you will need enough candy to make 1 cup of crushed candy


Let's do it ...

Note: This project requires stove work and knife cutting; these are adult tasks.

  1. Prepare the crispy rice treats 

  2. Press the mixture into an 8”x 8” pan.  The mixture should be packed as tightly and as level as possible.  Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.  While the mixture is cooling, crush the lollipops.


 3. Place unwrapped lollipops in a zip seal bag.   

 4. Use a small hammer, rolling pin or rock to crush the candy. 

 5. Place crushed candy in shallow plates.  Set aside.


6. Turnout the crispy rice treats square from the pan.  Cut into 1.5” wide strips, as shown. 

     I used a 1.5” wide strip of paper as a template.


7. Cut the strips into cubes using the same template strip as a guide.     

    You will need ten cubes (two for the shamash).


8. Spread a thick layer of frosting on the four sides of each cube.

9. Take seven of the frosted cubes and dip the frosted sides into the crushed candy. 

     In the photo below, these are cube numbers 1,2,3,6,7,8 and 10 (not shown). Set aside.


   For cubes numbers 4 and 5 dip only three sides in crushed candy. Leave the sides marked in blue     plain; so that cube number 9 (shamash bottom) fits snuggly into place.

10. Glue cubes to menorah board with frosting. 

11. Pipe thick zigzag lines of frosting to cover the tops of cube numbers 1 – 8 and 10 (shamash top)

12. Glue shamash top cube to cube number 9 with a dab of frosting.

13. Add Kooky Candles or candles of your choice.

14. Pipe a decorative border along the bottom edge of the cubes.



Tea Sandwich Menorah


Use your favorite sandwich fillings to make this savory menorah.  For added interest, the bread squares and fillings are arranged in an alternating pattern.

What you need ...

Whole wheat and white sandwich bread

Prepared sandwich fillings of your choice.  For this menorah sliced American cheese, cucumber slices, egg salad and avocado spread were used.

Carrot and/or beet slices cut into coins 1”wide x ¼” thick


Mayonnaise, softened butter or softened cream cheese


Serving platter or menorah board 22”long


Let's do it ...

Note: This project requires knife cutting; this is an adult task.

Trim crusts off bread slices.  Cut trimmed slices into 2”x 2” squares.  Depending on the size of your bread slices, the number of squares per slice can vary from 2 to 4.  You will need 28 squares.

Spread a thin line of mayonnaise, softened butter or cream cheese across the center of the menorah board, going from left to right.  Place the first layer of bread squares on the line.

Place desired filling on each square.  If using cucumber slices, first spread a thin coating of softened butter on the bread to keep it from getting soggy.

Top with the second layer of bread squares.  Add the fillings, and then the third layer of bread squares.  For the shamash add an extra filling layer and bread square. 

Add carrot/beet coins and olives as shown.  Use a dab of mayonnaise to secure the olives.   


Arrange parsley around the menorah base.

Now "light" the olives with a dot of egg salad or yellow tinted mayonnaise, as shown. 

Decorative Menorah Boards


 Set your Nosh Art Fun menorah on a decorative board. Use holiday wrapping paper or make it extra special with your own artwork.  It's fun to do!

What you need ...

Clean stiff cardboard or foam core board cut large enough for your menorah

Holiday wrapping paper or your own holiday artwork


Clear plastic food film

Let's do it ...

  1. Wrap the cardboard with holiday paper or your own artwork.  Secure with tape.

  2. Tightly wrap the menorah board with clear plastic food film.  Secure with tape.

Hanukkah  2021

Meet the Maccabees
Giant Hanukkah Hero Cookies

“Enough with the menorahs! Dreidels, menorahs, stars, enough already! I want the gborim, the heroes. Give me Hanukkah heroes!” 


The words of my late friend Ellemar (Dina) Givon; said in her Sabra brusqueness and punctuated by a flick of her wrist. A creative and devoted Hebrew school teacher, she made her point. Her orders to me, “Create a project that told the story”, a project to encourage children to think about the story. It was years before, I finally came up with a very simple way to create Ellemar’s Hanukkah heroes. I hope you’ll have as much fun as I do making these giant cookies. Have a Hanukkah Heroes party, bake the cookie skeletons; lay out a table with colored candy clays; and have your family and guests decorate their own Hanukkah hero. Gift wrap your heroes for a unique surprise.

These cookies are baked similar to biscotti, and are perfect for dunking into a hot cup of cocoa or glass of cold milk.

       NOTE: This project requires  stove work and a hot oven;  these are adults tasks, as are any steps requiring sharp knives and scissors.  In this project, plastic picnic knives or pastry wheels can be used to cut candy clay, and are suitable for children.

Screen Shot 2021-11-28 at 10.51.21 AM.jpg

Dressing your Hanukkah heroes

Tinted candy clays

Sugar glue made from 2 Tablespoons corn syrup or honey thinned with 1 tablespoon hot water

2 tablespoons chocolate chips melted optional.


1. Roll tinted candy clay into sheets 1/8”thick. Cut tunic skirt, top and sleeves as shown. Cut the pieces slightly larger than the area they are to cover. For hat, cut a half circle and roll up bottom edge for brim.


2. Keep pieces covered until ready to use. 


3. Brush sugar glue across waist line of skeleton. Attach skirt , pressing along waist line to secure skirt to cookie.


4. Roll up bottom edge of sleeves to form cuffs. Brush sugar glue over shoulders and attach sleeves.

Carefully stretching to fit over arms.


5. Brush sugar glue over chest area and attach tunic top. Press tunic seam line into sleeves.


6. To make belt. Roll three thin strings of contrasting candy clays. The strings should be 2” longer than your cookie’s waistline. Press the strings together as shown below, and begin twisting from one end. Cut in half. Press the ends together to seal. Brush a thin line of sugar glue where you want the belt to lay, and attach belt.

7. With chocolate frosting, pipe on eyes and eyebrows.  See Icings for information on piping with zip seal bags. 

8. Pipe hair  and beard. Pipe hair with straight lines or use squiggly lines for curly hair.   Gently press on head gear (hats/headbands)

9. Pipe crisscross lines on legs for sandal laces. Add sandals.


Follow the above steps for dressing all the Maccabees . To make a striped skirt, after rolling the candy clay to a 1/8” thick sheet lay strings of contrasting candy clay over the sheet; cover with a piece of wax paper, and roll again to flatten the strings into the candy clay sheet.


What you need…

1 recipe ginger spice cookie dough (yields 4 giant Maccabees or 6 to 8 smaller Maccabees) -> Ginger Spice Cookie Recipe

Pretzel sticks for spears

10 ounces Tinted candy clay or fondant

1 tablespoon Corn syrup or honey

1 cup chocolate frosting

Parchment paper cut into 10”x 8”rectangles, one rectangle for each cookie.

Zip seal bag or disposable piping bag

Optional: currants for eyes and dried cranberries or red hots for mouths

Let’s do it …

Making the Skeletons

1. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces, one piece for each Maccabee.

2. Cover three of the pieces with plastic wrap and set aside.

3. Divide the remaining piece into 3 pieces. The two larger pieces are for the arms and legs.

The third smaller piece is for the head and trunk.

4. Roll the larger pieces into ropes 12”long, taper the ends for the hands and feet.
Roll the smaller piece into a 6” long rope.

5. To form the head, take the top end of the shorter rope and fold over about 1”; press down and shape into an oval. Place on a piece of parchment paper, leaving enough space on each side for the arms and legs.

6. To form the arms and legs, brush each side of the trunk with water. Attach a rope to each side, pressing ropes into trunk. 

7. Bend down upper section of each rope to form shoulders, arms, and hands. Shape the lower section of each rope to form knees and feet. 

8. For the kneeling Maccabee, flatten the head to form a side view as shown.

9. Press holes for eyes and draw outline for mouth. If using currants, cranberries/red hots add them now. 

10. Move skeleton to cookie sheet. To add pretzel spear, shape the hand and brush lightly with water.

Gently press pretzel stick into hand. Fold hand over the pretzel stick to grasp the spear.

11. To make basket shape piece of dough into a thick half-moon; flatten and make crisscross marks with a plastic knife. Shape a second piece into a handle and glue to basket with water. Place on cookie sheet.

12. To make club, roll dough into a 4” long log ; press a 2” pretzel piece into the log for handle. Shape club top, poke several holes for texture. Place in hero’s hand. For hero’s shield, roll dough into a ball
and flatten into a thick circle. Use plastic knife to add decorative lines. Place on cookie sheet, bake separate from hero. The shield will be glued to hero’s hand during decorating. 

13. Bake skeletons, baskets, shields and clubs in preheated 350 degree oven 12 – 15 minutes until golden brown on the bottom. Remove from oven.


14. Turn oven off and allow to cool to 300 degrees. While oven is cooling, place cookies on a wire cooling rack. When the oven temperature has dropped to 300 degrees, return skeleton cookies to oven.

Remove from oven when both oven and cookies are cold.


Dreidel Pane Galobe on Shakshuka

Italy Meets Morrocco

Pane galobe, Italian for eggs in a frame, is the inspiration for this holiday meal. The dreidels paired with the shakshuka make for a festive and nutritious holiday meal.

Note: This project requires cooking, oven and knife cutting; these are adult tasks. Steps suited for children in this project are buttering the bread slices, cutting the dreidels, and pre-arranging the scallion strips into Hebrew letters for adults to later add to the eggs.



2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 medium onion diced
3 garlic cloves minced
2 large green peppers cut into 1”pieces
1 large red bell pepper cut into 1”pieces
4 large tomatoes chopped or 1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz can)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
2 tablespoons parsley chopped


1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tomato paste, cumin, onion and garlic and mix. Cook for 5-8 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Lower heat to simmer and cook uncovered 30 minutes.

Tip: The shakshuka can be made two days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in a covered container.

Dreidel Pane Galobe

4 slices bread crusts removed
butter or margarine at room temperature
4 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1 scallion – green part
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Place eggs, milk, and salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Gently stir to blend; avoid frothing the eggs. Set aside. 

3. Lightly butter both sides of bread. Use a dreidel cutter to cut out center of bread. Set centers aside until step 7. Place dreidel frames on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 5 minutes.

4. While dreidel frames are baking, dip scallion greens in boiling water to soften. Cut softened greens into small thin strips; set aside. 

5. Remove dreidel frames from oven and flip, so the browned side is now on top.


6. Fill the dreidel frames with the egg mixture; avoid overflowing the hole.

7. Arrange scallion strips over the eggs to form the Hebrew letters. Add the buttered centers from step 3 to the baking pan. Return pan to oven. Bake for 5-7 minutes until eggs are fully cooked.

Arrange pane galobe dreidels and oven toasted dreidels over shakshuka and serve.


Super Simple Lollipop Menorah


What you need ...

10 mini powdered donuts
9 colorful lollipop twists
1/4 cup yellow tinted frosting
sturdy cardboard or foam core board cut to 3 1/2” w x 16” l

Hanukkah wrapping paper

Let’s do it ...

1. Cover board with wrapping paper.. Tape to secure. Wrap the covered board with clear plastic wrap. Tape to secure. Set aside.

2. Unwrap the lollipops . Snip off the sticks of eight of the lollipops. For the shamash, leave 1⁄2” of stick; snip off the remainder of the stick.

3. To light the lollipop candles, dip the tip of the lollipop in the yellow frosting, twist, and lift . 

4. Gently push the lit candle into the donut hole. Glue to menorah board with a dab of frosting.

5. For shamash, glue two donuts together with a dab of frosting.

Sprinkles and Marshmallows


What you need ...

9 large marshmallows
8 pretzel sticks 2 inches long
1 pretzel stick 3 inches long
1⁄2 cup frosting
Disposable piping bag or zip seal bag (See Icings)
Colored sprinkles
Yellow food coloring
Sturdy cardboard or foam core board cut to 14” X 3” covered with colored paper and plastic wrap

Let’s do it ...

1. Place sprinkles on a piece of wax paper or in a shallow dish

2. Tint 1 tablespoon of frosting yellow and set aside

3. Push pretzel sticks into marshmallows

4. Holding the marshmallow by the pretzel stick, pipe lines or squiggles around the marshmallow

5. Roll the marshmallow in sprinkles. Gently tap off excess.

6. Dip the pretzel tip in yellow frosting

7. Glue marshmallow candle to menorah board with frosting.


Kooky Pretzel Candles and

Yummy Candle Holders 

Make these pretzel candles dipped in faux royal icing and rolled in colorful sprinkles,  or create your pretzel candles with colorful patterned candy clay


Dipped Candles


What you need ...

Dipping pretzel sticks

Coating either Melted candy melts

or thinned frosting (see Icings)

Colored sugars, sprinkles, and non-pareils

Let’s do it ...

1. Dip pretzel in coating. Tap off excess and roll in sugar,

sprinkles, or non-pareils.

Set on a piece of wax paper to air dry or

place in refrigerator for 5-10 minutes .


Candy Clay Candles


What you need ...

8 oz rolled fondant or homemade candy clay (see Icings)

tinted a variety of colors

Dipping pretzel sticks

Sugar glue – thinned corn syrup or honey

Let’s do it ...

Polka dots 

1. Roll small balls of various sizes and hues. Cover and set aside

2. Roll background color candy clay into a sheet @ ¼”thick. Arrange balls on background clay. Cover with a piece of wax paper and roll into rectangle large enough to wrap around pretzel stick and
cover stick from top to bottom. Flip rectangle over, brush lightly with sugar glue. Place pretzel stick at one end and wrap in candy clay. Cut off excess. Roll to seal seam.


1. Follow same steps as above; substituting thin strings of contrasting color for
the polka dot balls.


1. Roll three colors of candy clay into short fat logs, about the size of mini Tootsie rolls.

2. Press the logs together as shown and roll into a rectangle. Follow steps above to cover
pretzel stick.

kooky candles fondant.jpg

Kooky Candle Holder Ideas

There are so many options for candle holders. Pictured are pre-decorated mini-cupcakes and mini chocolate donuts dressed up with drizzled icing in different colors for a festive touch.

Brownies, chocolate covered peanut butter cups, jumbo gum drops, or mini-cake bites are
other options.


Have a Dipped Kooky Candles Family

Hanukkah Party

What you need ...

For Menorah Boards

A pre-cut piece of sturdy cardboard or foam core board 3 ½”x 16” for each guest

Hanukkah wrapping paper

Scotch tape

Plastic wrap to cover menorah boards

For Menorahs

9 pretzel dipping sticks for each guest

9 mini-donuts, or other candle holder option, for each guest

Frosting for candle flames and for gluing completed candles to board

*Canned frosting for dipping coating

Colored sugars, sprinkles or non-pareils

Plastic knife or spoon for each guest

Set out shallow dishes of the colored sugars, sprinkles and non-pareils.

Give each guest a sheet of wax paper to work on

Place a small jar or small glass filled with melted frosting for every 3 guests

*As a group activity, especially with young children, coating made from canned frosting is much easier to work with than melted candy melts.

bottom of page