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hanukkah latke bar
Host a Hanukkah Party With This DIY Latke Bar

Host a Hanukkah Party With This DIY Latke Bar

Come celebrate the eight days of Hanukkah by digging into this mouthwatering make-your-own latke station.

Latkes 101

The first secret I'm going to let you in on is this: No matter how tempted you are to make your latkes ahead of time, don't do it! There is good reason for this. Latkes have a very small window of time before they turn into "mushkas." The key to the perfect latke is serving them from frying pan to table as quickly as possible. (My mom taught me this and she is one smart latke.)


Regardless, there are a few tasks you can do in prep for the party: Chop or grate your onions, bring your eggs to room temperature, measure your matzo meal or flour, wash potatoes, prepare latke toppings, and set aside space for your latke-making station. Specifically, you will need a spot to mix your batter and cookie sheet with paper towels to drain the fried latkes. Squeeze out your potatoes to ensure that they are not starchy and wet (I do this in cheesecloth or a clean dish towel.) 


Nominate a "sous latke chef" helper in the kitchen with you. They can assist with just about anything and are usually lucky enough to get first dibs on samples.

Mix and Match

Now, you're ready to set up your latke bar. Place the fried latkes on large serving platters and surround them with all of chosen your toppings. I used an assortment of options including sliced apple, sour cream, grated cheese, dill, and pureed beets. (Get out of the way fast when the hordes of latke lovers descend upon the table!)

  • Bartlett Pear with Cinnamon Crème-Fraîche
    Bartlett Pear with Cinnamon Crème-Fraîche
  • Pink Applesauce and Shredded Coconut
    Pink Applesauce and Shredded Coconut
  • Smoked Salmon with Greek Yogurt and Fresh Chives
    Smoked Salmon with Greek Yogurt and Fresh Chives
  • Pomegranate with Honeyed Pistachio
    Pomegranate with Honeyed Pistachio
  • Labneh and Dill
    Labneh and Dill
  • Beet Hummus and Microgreens
    Beet Hummus and Microgreens

Personalize Your Holiday

Set your Hannukkah tablescape with something pretty. I did two quick DIY projects: party signs with freestanding letters and customized serving plates using non-toxic markers. I made two lettered displays: one that spelled "Hanukkah" and another that spelled "Latke Bar." The former was made with painted wood letters, thin dowels, Martha Stewart craft paint, miniature mason jars with ribbon, white sand, and a hot glue gun. The rest of the table was sprinkled confetti-style with decorations — silvery star tokens and painted dreidels from Homesense Canada (HomeGoods in the United States).


Styling, Design & Photography: Debi Traub of SimplyBeautifulEating