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Peanut Butter Gelt Cookies for Hanukkah

This easy recipe incorporates chocolate Hanukkah gelt and rich peanut-butter cookies. Not only is the cookie delicious with the chocolate, but it provides a great way to feature the gelt. Try to find high-quality gelt made with good chocolate that has few (if any) additives. Using dark chocolate gelt will keep this gluten-free cookie parve.

The gelt of Hanukkah recalls the booty, which included coins, that the Maccabean victors distributed to the Jewish widows, soldiers and orphans — possibly at the first celebration of the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple.

In ancient Israel, striking, minting and distributing coins expressed Hanukkah’s message of freedom. The Maccabees’ descendants, known as the Hasmoneans, who ruled Judea, started to strike coins. As the book of 1 Maccabees records, Syria’s King Antiochus VII said to Simon Maccabee, “I turn over to you the right to make your own stamp for coinage for your country” (15:6).

Enjoy stamping these cookies with chocolate gelt — and eating and sharing them over the holiday.

Peanut-Butter Gelt Cookies

Makes about 36 cookies

1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3 dozen chocolate gelt coins

1) Preheat oven to 350˚ F.

2) Beat the peanut butter, sugar and egg together. Shape cookies into rounds with flat tops, to the size of the gelt. Bake on a greased cookie sheet for about 12 minutes.

3) Cool slightly. While still warm from the oven (but no longer hot), gently press one piece of gelt onto the top of each cookie. Cool.

Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz lectures about chocolate and Jews around the world. Her book, “On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao”, was published in 2013 by Jewish Lights (bulk prices available) and is in its second printing. The book is used in adult study, classroom settings, book clubs and chocolate tastings. The development of chocolate Hanukkah gelt is discussed in “On the Chocolate Trail” in the chapter called Chanukah and Christmas Chocolate Melt into Gelt.


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