Hanukkah Sugar Cookies

For those who are celebrating Hanukkah, the eight day holiday is a great time to eat traditional sweets of all kinds, but I personally think it's even better if you get to share a few of them with those who are dear to you.  This year, if you have a moment, bake and ice sugar cookies in the classic shapes of Hanukkah that we all know and love.

Two dear friends of mine recently asked me if I would make special Hanukkah cookies for their family and friends.   I immediately set to work on assembling my tasty sugar cookie dough as a base, and several batches of that good royal icing recipe I created many years ago. Hanukkah cookie cutters were then taken out, and I began one of my favorite tasks of all time.  Baking!

During the Festival of Lights, one candle on a menorah is lit for every night of the observance of this holiday.  Eight nights and eight days require a menorah with eight candles, plus an additional candle (in the middle of the candelabra) used for the actual lighting of the candles.  It is on the final night of the festival that every candle on the menorah is lit.  Throughout the eight day observance, families and friends gather together to play the game of dreidel and to partake of traditional sweets and foods.  That delicious Hanukkah gelt is adored by everyone, and yet, there is always room for sugar cookies so that guests can have one or two.

The menorah sugar cookies you see here were such an easy design.  I outlined and flooded round sugar cookies in white royal icing, which was then left to dry.  A menorah with a scrolled footed base was then piped as shown, with a #2 piping tip in sky-blue royal icing.  While the icing was wet, I placed eight 3mm gold drageĆ©s on the 'candleholders', and then carefully placed a larger 5mm gold drageĆ© in the center of the candleholder to represent the candles of the menorah.  The perimeter of the round was then given a bead of royal icing in the same blue color.  After the icing dried completely, I took some Rolkem gold cake decorators dust and applied it carefully with a fine brush.

I love these gilded menorahs!

The dreidels were also very simple.  I piped a dreidel design onto a white royal icing base with blue royal icing (#2 piping tip), and then immediately piped the corresponding symbols of nun, gimmel, hey and shin as shown. Once this was dry, I took more of the Rolkem gold and applied it to the symbols of the dreidels.  Voila!

The Stars of David were created on round sugar cookies and on ones in the shape of the star itself.  All were given a base coating of white royal icing which was left to dry, and then I piped the double stripes of the stars as shown using two separate colors (teal and marine blue).  While the icings were wet, I flocked the cookies in a beautiful teal-colored fine sanding sugar so that the Star of David would sparkle.  Done and done!

Don't you just want to have a platter of these cookies for your Hanukkah table?  If you place each cookie in a clear cellophane bag and tie it with a blue ribbon, you can have each guest at your gathering take one from the dessert table.  You can also use cookies like this for each place setting on the dining table.

Consider making a few of these as a hostess gift if you're traveling to a friend's house.  Wherever you decide to celebrate the Festival of Lights, I hope that you are surrounded with friends and family, and are blessed with love, happiness and good health.

To my friends Candice and Rena, Happy Hanukkah!