Saturday, December 4, 2010

Star of David Chinese 5 Spice Latkes & Hannukah Gelt Chocolate Cookies

Jews and Chinese Food. They go together like The Captain and Tennille, like Fred and Ginger, like Kermit and Miss Piggy, like Frankenfurter and Rocky, like .. enough already..

If you are not following me, here's the deal, I don’t know about Jewish people in other parts of the USA or the world for that matter but my people in New York love Chinese food. It’s an important part of being culturally Jewish. Where I come from Jews consume massive quantities of Chinese food.

For Channukah, I included the Jewish Chinese Food connection in a traditional dish. Potato Latkes with an Asian twist.

I used a cookie cutter to shape them into a Star of David. I did stop short of putting a fortune in them. But don’t think I didn’t think about it.

Chinese 5 Spice Potato Latkes


  • 2 pounds of russet potatoes
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • Créme Fraiche and applesauce for dipping (I used my mother in law's homemade apple compote. Recipe follows.)


  • Peel potatoes and shred them in a food processor (grate them if you do not have a FP)
  • Shred onion and mix together with the shredded potatoes
  • Using a sieve squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the potato/onion mixture.
  • Add eggs, flour, salt and 5 spice powder and mix thoroughly.
  • Add about ¼ cup of peanut oil to a frying pan and heat.
  • When oil is good and hot, form a small ball out of the mixture, lace in pan and flatten with a spatula.
  • After a few minutes, flip latkes to brown on both sides. Remove from pan and let drain on a paper towel.

To get the star shape: I placed the Star of David cookie cutter on a metal spatula and squeezed the mixture into the cutter, packing it tightly to form the star about three quarters they way up the sides of the cutter. I then lifted up the cutter, one point of the star at a time while using the handle of a wooden spoon to keep the mixture on the spatula. I then gently pushed the star off the spatula with my finger into the pan. This was messy but  I was really happy with the results.

Fine’s Apfel Compote


  • 3 tart apples peeled and cored (I used the Red boskoop from our garden)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar


  • Slice peeled and cored apples into 8 slices.
  • Place in saucepan and cover with 3/4 inch of water.
  • Add sugar
  • Cook on a low setting for about 10 minutes or until apples are soft.
  • Using a potato masher, break the apples up.
  • When the pieces form a sauce remove from heat and mash until smooth.
  • I finished them off with a hand mixer to smooth out leftover pieces.

In my last post I promised you no more brown. OK the latkes are brown but wait.  Meinen Damen und Herren, I give you now... 

Hannukah Gelt Chocolate Cookies

First I made chocolate cookies and cut circles using a cutter.

Chocolate Rolled Cookies

I used THIS RECIPE from Bake Greek

Before I put the cookies in the oven I made indentations all around each using a toothpick.

After the cookies were baked I mixed up a batch of royal icing and colored it using Wilton Golden Yellow.

Royal Icing


  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Gel food coloring


  • Mix one cup of powdered sugar and the meringue powder with one tablespoon of the milk. Mix together until blended.
  • Add the remaining milk and powdered sugar mix. Add vanilla and stir until combined.

To decorate:

  • I covered the cookies with the royal icing.
  • After the icing dried, I used a squeeze bottle filled with the golden yellow frosting  to pipe an outline circle around the cookie and then in the center piped menorahs and Stars of David.
  • When the piping dried, I painted on edible metallic gold using a paintbrush and diluting the metallic powder in vodka.

I was in a bit of a hurry as we were leaving for Hamburg for a few days. So they came out a bit sloppy and I admit I didn't wait until they dried thoroughly before I started moving them around to photograph them. But for someone who has more time and better artistic cookie talents, these are a cute idea.

Happy Hannukah!


  1. What cool, fun Hannukah treats! Very clever. :)

  2. OMG! These are both brilliant! Bravo and l'chaim!


Thank you for your comments and feedback. I love hearing from you!