Hanukkah Donut Bar

Just behind latkes, donuts are a favorite Hanukkah food. Here’s an idea to make this treat not only delicious, but also fun to decorate. This can also be used as an activity at a Hanukkah Party.

To begin, you can either make your own donuts using a Mini Doughnut Maker, or purchase unglazed donuts from your local donut shop (you may have to preorder them). Spread out a variety of icings and toppings (see list below for ideas) and let the fun begin!

I prefer to put icing and toppings  in small bowls and refill as needed,even if you are having a large crowd. This helps contain a potential mess, and also helps to ensure that the children don’t “overdo it”!

Recipe for Donuts (using a donut machine)

Yields: Approximately 24 mini donuts

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk or juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil


  1. Place ingredients in the bowl of your mixer.
  2. Mix until combined.
  3. Preheat donut machine for about 5 minutes.
  4. Spray the cavities lightly with baking spray.
  5. Pour batter into each cavity-do not overfill.
  6. Close the machine and bake for about 3 minutes. Donuts should be golden color when ready.
  7. Repeat until batter is used up.

Donut Decorating Ideas:

  • Icing (add food coloring or cocoa to make different colors)
  • Confectioners sugar

Cookie dip and melted chocolate can be used as well however,you will need to keep remelting them as they  harden up.


  • Colorful sprinkles
  • Confetti sprinkles
  • Colored sparkling sugar
  • Chocolate,caramel or nougat chips
  • Candy pearls
  • Chopped nuts
  • Toasted shredded coconut


This post contains affiliate links from Amazon, which means I earn a very small commission if you click and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting EstherO in this way.

Hanukkah Scratch Off Game

Photography by Dan Engongoro

Scratch and Win:

Everyone can hit the jackpot with these lottery inspired scratch off games. Let scratch off paint “cover” a good part of your Hanukkah program.

These instant winner cards, handed out to your guest as they arrive will start your party off with a buzz (Game A)

Or try playing Fun Family Facts game when your company settles down and makes themselves comfy. (Game B)


If you are looking to make your life simpler, you can simply purchase 1″ Scratch Off Labels Stickers.

How to make the scratch off game:

1- To make 36 circles, combine two Tbs. of metallic acrylic paint and one Tbsp. dishwashing liquid in a disposable container. Mix. With a foam brush, paint a thin coating of the mixture onto the non adhesive side of a 13 inch square of clear contact paper. When the coating is dry add two more coats, letting each layer dry thoroughly.

2- Next, enlarge game templates onto cards stock and cut out.

For free printable template go to OMG Design.com

Customized printables can also be ordered from OMG Design.com

3-Using a 1” puncher- cut out circles from the painted contact paper (or you can trace 1” circles and cut out)

3-Game A

Write the letters נגהש in the correct order on as many cards as you would like to have winners. On the rest of your cards- randomly write the letters נגהש

Peel the backing from painted circles and stick over letters.

Game B

Write the names of family members in the circles- try to include as many as possible. Each card should include different names.

Peel the backing from painted circles and stick over circles.

Game A :

How to play:

Scratch off all circles.

How to win:

Player who’s נגהש is in the right order wins!

Game B

How to play:

Appoint a caller who will call out prepared family facts one at a time.

*While preparing the list of facts try not to get too specific – try to keep questions  general- for example: a high school boy, an aunt, an uncle, someone who has at least one initial A-K, oldest in family, youngest in family…After each question or fact is called out, everyone scratches off one circle. Player who has the correct answer gets a check/ ticket.

How to win: player with the most ticket/checks wins!

*Ready  made scratch off stickers can also be purchased.

This article by EstherO. originally appeared in Mishpacha Magazine.

This post contains affiliate links from Amazon, which means I earn a very small commission if you click and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting EstherO in this way.

Hanukkah Photo Booth

Photography by Dan engongora

Have a picture perfect Hanukkah Party.Try this homemade Photo Booth that you can set up in a flash by draping fabric and ribbons over a door and  a stool.

Each budding photographer at your Hanukkah Party can try their hand in your in house photo studio.You can create custom signs and cute props  to have even more fun posing!!

Great Gift Idea-Give Grandpa and Grandma an album with a picture of each grandchild and let them “Shep Nachat” as they enjoy  Hanukkah Memories of 2012.

This article by EstherO. originally appeared in Mishpacha Magazine.

Hanukkah Party Setup

Photography by Dan Engongoro

Symmetry and bold color combine to give your Hanukkah spread balance, and absolute wow factor, and memories of miracles which transpired in those days, in this season .

From the understatement of unassuming children’s Menorahs,to the Peacock Feathers of a proud bird who struts his stuff, from edible place cards, to ribbons to appeal to Jews of all stripes, this is a table of welcome for family and friends.

It beacons, it charms, it enchants, and it promises to serve Hanukka delights in a way to ensure a delightful Hanukkah.

Arrange any combination of these open and airy Square Shelves to suit your requirements  and creativity.(They’re available in black ,white and wood tones).  Alternately, these shelves can be lined up against a wall as a striking backdrop for a buffet table.

Use the power of the flower to incorporate whatever hues you’d like to introduce to your décor .Little splashes of color,in improvised bloom holders wake things up, and shake things up. The focus will still remain on all things Hanukkah.

Combining color and a design element-such as these stripes of ribbon-give decorations a powerful punch .Cover your table with a solid color tablecloth and unroll ribbons…(crepe paper streamers  is an inexpensive alternative)

For  candleholders -use double-sided tape to attach streamers around glass.

Coin Napkin rings

Napkin rings that will literally cost you pennies to make……


  • Copper spray paint
  • Empty paper towel roll
  •  Shiny Pennies
  • Hot glue gun


  1. Spray paper towel roll with spray paint – allow to dry
  2. Cut into 1/2’’  rings
  3. Glue pennies on

(If you don’t want to use spray paint you can glue a ribbon around the ring instead.)

* Makes a cute gift too!

Cookie seating cards

  1. Use  your favorite sugar cookie recipe.
  2. For each seating card you will need to cut out 1-3” dreidel and  1-1×1 -1/2” rectangle of dough.
  3. After cookies are baked and decorated,use a toothpick to chisel a groove on the back of the dreidel in a 1”(horizontal  line in the center of the cookie.Lean the dreidel cookie on the short side of the recangle  cookie.I found that  with this method my cookies stood beautifully and did not require chocolate to stick them together .Voila! a dreidel that never falls!


This article by EstherO. originally appeared in Mishpacha Magazine.

This post contains affiliate links from Amazon, which means I earn a very small commission if you click and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting EstherO in this way.

Hanukkah Cannoli Menorah

I love working with Presidor Cannolis. They’re simple, yet elegant and their delicious taste appeals to all ages.You will have fun while using them to create this edible menorah.You can create this menorah by putting the candles on a tray, directly on the table or for a more sophisticated look,you can have a glass cut to size to use as the base.


  • 10 Presidor Cannolis
  • Small cupcake holders
  • Baking chocolate
  • 1- 8 oz dessert whip (such as Richs Whip)
  •  2 Tbs instant vanilla pudding
  • Leaf chocolate mold to be used as flame
  • Orange royal icing ( you can purchase Wilton ready made icing)
  • Sanding sugar
  •   2″X15” piece of glass (about five dollars) – optional
  • Small square glass vase – optional
  • Glue dots – optional

Assembling the Base:

  1. Turn square vase upside down.
  2. Place a glue dot in each corner.
  3. Lay cut glass on top.
  4. Place 9 cupcake holders on the glass.

Assembling the Candles:

  1. Melt chocolate in double boiler or microwave.
  2.  To create the” shamash”, dip the rim of one cannoli in melted chocolate and attach it to the bottom of another cannoli, thereby creating a larger candle.
  3.   Dip one side of each cannoli (shamash included)in melted chocolate.
  4.  Make the flames using the chocolate mold.
  5. When chocolate is hard and ready to use, you may decorate the flames using orange royal icing and sanding sugar.

6.Allow to dry over night.

7.Place dessert whip in the bowl of your mixer and whip until firm and. Add in the  vanilla pudding.

8.Fill a pastry bag (or Freezer Ziploc) with star tip and pipe whip into candles.

9. Place flames on top of the candles.

10.Place cannolis into cupcake holders on the base.

Melt In Your Mouth Cupcakes

Photography by Dan Engongora

This melt-in-your-mouth kids (and adults too!) delight, is bound to become an all time favorite. Just take your favorite chocolate cake recipe, and follow these simple steps to create this lip smacking treat.


  • 18 Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 1-2” Cookie Cutter (optional)
  • 1 Recipe Cream Filling
  • Candy Pearls (available in candy and baking stores)

Recipe for Cream Filling

  • 1 - 8 oz Whip Topping
  • 4 T Confectioners  Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Food Coloring-Optional


  1. Place whip topping into the bowl of your mixer.
  2. Beat until stiff.
  3. Add in confectioners sugar and vanilla extract . Beat 30 seconds until combined.
  4. Add in 1-2 drops of food coloring (optional).


Directions for Assemling Cupcakes:

  1. Slice off the top of the cupcake (position knife on an angle to remove extra cake to allow  room for lots of  cream. However, if you are doing the flower cut out version ,you will need to  cut it straight across)

(For best results, cut when frozen.)
For flower version: Using a cookie cutter,cut out center of the cupcake “cover” .
Set  “covers” aside.

2. Cut off the tip of one corner of  a Freezer Ziploc bag. Place a star shaped piping  tip in the hole (optional) .Put the cream into the bag. Pipe the cream into the center of the cupcake .

3. Place cupcake “cover “ on top of the cream.

Sprinkle with confectioners sugar (optional).

For flower cupcakes-place candy pearl in the center of the cupcake.

This article by EstherO. originally appeared in Mishpacha Magazine.

Fall Leaf Cookies

With the hurricane and early snow storm here in the Northeast, there is not much of fall that remains. So here is a colorful idea to create some fall foliage of your own.


  • Sugar cookie dough
  • Food coloring
  • Leaf cookie cutter


Divide cookie dough into as many colors as you would like to use.

Add a generous amount of food coloring to each part to get a deep color.

Break off small pieces from each color dough, place them next to each other and then flatten the dough with a rolling pin.

Using leaf cookie cutter, cut out your cookies.

*Tip Do not over bake as this will cause the colors to fade.

Leaf Flowers

Well here I was, ready to post this Leaf Flower fall post, and then… it snowed 8 and 1/2 inches on Nov. 7th – thus bringing fall to an abrupt end! (For whatever was left of it after Sandy) But for those of you still have a fall season and the magnificent foliage is abound, here is a  fun, neat idea that will “leave” you mesmerized.


  • Leaves (freshly fallen so they are pliable)
  • Floral Tape
  • Skewers


Fold one leaf in half (tip touching the stem) and roll it up for the center of the “rose”

Take a second leaf, and fold it around the first “bud”.

Continue to add leaves, rotating as you go to get an even size.

Work with the smaller leaves at the center and the larger ones towards the outside

When you have reached the desired size, pinch the leave stems tightly together and wrap with tape

Wrap the bottom of the flower and the skewer with floral tape

Monogram and Photograph Glass Marble Party Favors

Photography by Dan Engongora

Sprinkled around your party table, these glass marble party favors, with a monogram or picture will  add a special touch to any occasion.




Measure the back of your stone and reduce pics and monograms accordingly.

Cut into circles. (circles should be slightly smaller than stones)

Place a drop of glue on the back of the stone and smear so that the glue covers the entire area .

Place picture ,monogram… face up onto glue and allow to dry.

Tip: You can add a magnet to the back of the marbles-apply with E6000

Graphics by omgdesign.weebly.com

This article by EstherO. originally appeared in Mishpacha Magazine.

Etched Striped Glasses

Though this project may seem difficult, etching designs on glass or mirror is as simple as applying a cream over a stencil and then rinsing. This is a great idea for creating unique and personalized designs to  glassware,  door plaques, windows, and wherever else your creative flair takes you. The results are not only beautiful (think great gifts) but permanent and food-and dishwasher-safe as well.


Photography by Dan Engongora

Materials and tools

  • Drinking glasses
  • Masking tape
  • Foam brush
  • Etching cream
  • Rubber gloves
  • Ruler (optional)


  1. Gather materials together on a flat surface in a well- ventilated, warm workspace (above 70F, 21C). Etching  cream  will not work properly in cold temperatures. It’s a good idea to wear  rubber  gloves to protect your skin. Read and follow all manufacturer instructions.
  2.  Clean and dry glasses thoroughly.
  3. Wrap three strips of masking tape around glass. If necessary use a ruler to make sure strips are even.- smooth out any air pockets in the tape.
  4. Use foam brush to put  a thick, even layer of etching cream across the exposed area of the glass. Work slowly and carefully, as any spilled cream will leave a permanent mark.

Let stand 15 minutes, scrape cream off surface of the glass with a foam brush. (Cream can be scraped back into the original bottle for later reuse.) Rinse off the cream thoroughly with warm water, and then remove the resist. ONLY ONCE THE GLASS IS COMPLETELY DRY, THE ETCHED DESIGN WILL BE VISIBLE. For more glass etching ideas check out glass etching monogrammed vase.


This article by EstherO. originally appeared in Mishpacha Magazine.