Sure, Chanuka/Hanukkah is all about the frying, but that doesn't mean the only desserts you can serve all week are dripping with oil. Chocolate gelt - another traditional symbol of the holiday -
are just as cute when part of some cute sugar cookies. And they're less likely to melt in your hands!
Of course, you can't just put the coins in the cookies before baking, since they will melt into a gooey mess all over the oven, and not retain the cute markings they come with - mine had images of ships on one side, so I stuck with that. Instead, you bake the cookies until just done, then press a coin in the centers of each and leave them to set.
Since you need to add the chocolate as soon as they're done baking, it's best to unwrap them all before you start. Buy enough so you can eat a few as well!
I've seen these made before with a peanut butter dough, which is delicious I'm sure, but I wanted a classic sugar cookie instead. Either way - your gelt will be gevaldig!*
*Consult your local Yiddish dictionary or grandmother for translation.
2/3 cup (150g) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 3/4 cups (220g) flour
1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
About 40 small chocolate coins
Unwrap the chocolate coins.
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix until well incorporated. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until the dough comes together.
Roll walnut-sized pieces of dough into a ball and place, well spaced apart, on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake the cookies at 350 F for 10-12 minutes, until there is just the slightest hint of brown around the edges but the centers are still pale and puffy.
Immediately after removing from the oven, press a chocolate coin into the center of each cookie. The chocolate will begin to melt, so leave them to set until cold, about 15 minutes.