Cooking With PJ Library: Hanukkah Recipes

In the Hanukkah story one tiny jar of oil keeps the lamps burning for eight full nights. Since Hanukkah celebrates this miracle, it's traditional to eat foods fried in oil as part of the festivities. We got together with Los Angeles PJ Library Connector Jennifer Stempel, aka the Cuban Reuben, to find four kid-friendly, easy to prepare, Hanukkah recipes that make preparing fried (or unfried) foods easy. 

Don't forget to like our Facebook page to watch LIVE cooking demos of some of these recipes!



1 8oz bag of plain potato chips
1 cup French-fried onions
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs chicken tenders


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with heavy duty foil, and place a cooling rack on the cookie sheet. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a gallon-sized zip top plastic bag, add potato chips, French fried onions, paprika, and brown sugar. Squeeze air out of the bag, zip the top closed, and use your hands to crumble the contents of the bag. If you've got some helpers on hand, let them do the crumbling--toddlers to teens can help out here. Set bag aside.
  • Add the flour and eggs to two individual shallow bowls. Season both with salt and pepper. In a third shallow bowl, add half of the potato chip crumble.
  • Coat the chicken tenders in the flour, then the eggs, then the potato chip crumble, and lay each tender flat on the rack on the cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown and cooked through.
  • Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.

Note: the cooling rack on top of the cookie sheet helps make sure that the chicken remains crunchy all over during the cooking process.



1 Tbs. sesame oil
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 small onion, chopped
1 8oz container cremini or baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1 Tbs. freshly ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 ½ cups of cooked white or brown rice
3 oz low sodium soy sauce
1 12oz bag of frozen peas and carrots (*do not thaw)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 green onions, finely sliced


  • In a large sauté pan or wok, heat sesame oil and olive oil over medium to high heat.
  • Add the eggs to the oil, and cook until scrambled. Set the cooked eggs aside. 
  • Add the onion to the pan, and cook until translucent, stirring often (about 3-5 minutes). 
  • Continue stirring, and add the mushrooms, ginger, and garlic. Cook until mushrooms soften (about 3-5 minutes).
  • Add the rice, soy sauce, peas and carrots, and the cooked eggs, then stir to combine. .
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with green onions.
  • Serve immediately.




Vegetable Oil
Wonton wrappers
Chocolate Hazelnut spread (Nutella)
Banana, sliced in rounds to make coins
1 egg, beaten
*Optional: Powdered sugar


  • In a large sauté pan (or electric skillet), add oil until it is about 1 inch deep. Heat over medium/high heat (between 375 and 400 degrees).
  • Lay wonton wrapper flat. Add 1 teaspoon of Nutella, and top with a banana coin.
  • Dip your finger in the egg, and run it along the edges of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half to form a triangle. Push down the edges to seal.
  • Fry each wonton packet in oil, about one minute per side, and drain on a plate lined with paper towel.
  • Optional: Top with a dusting of powdered sugar.
  • Serve immediately.

If you're making these for a guest with a nut allergy, swap out the Nutella for sunbutter or Wowbutter.



Vegetable oil
1 package of prepared pizza dough
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Optional topping ideas:
Powdered sugar
Melted chocolate chips


  • In a large saute pan (or electric skillet), add enough oil so that it is about one inch deep. Heat over medium high heat (between 375 and 400 degrees). 
  • Roll out pizza dough until it is about ½-1 inch thick. Cut rounds of dough using a one inch cookie or biscuit cutter. If you've got a kid helper on hand, pass off the cookie cutters and put them to work, just make sure a grownup does the next step.
  • Carefully place each dough round in the oil, and cook about 1 minute per side.
  • Remove the rounds from the oil, and place them on a plate lined with paper towel.
  • Now it's time for your toppings! Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, and while the rounds are still warm, roll them in the mixture to coat. You can try some of the alternate toppings we listed above here too!
  • Serve immediately.


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