As hard as it is to imagine, not everyone loves chocolate. So how do you handle that on Hanukah when playing dreidel? The players use chocolate “gelt” or coins for the game. This year, you can forego the chocolate and try these Hanukah cheese gelt coins instead.
This recipe is great for any time of year, really. The dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer until needed. They’re wonderful for Hanukah or any time you need a great appetizer cracker. The ingredients include:
8 ounces of sharp, shredded Cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
1 cup of all-purpose flour (use gluten-free flour if gluten is a concern)
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons of onion powder
1/8 of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Begin by preheating your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your baking sheets with non-stick aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Place the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor or into a bowl if you are using a heavy-duty mixer. If using the food processor, be sure to use the metal blade. Turn the processor on and blend until the ingredients for a stiff dough.
Divide the dough into two equal parts. Roll them into logs about the same size – 1 inch in diameter and about 12 inches long – and then roll them in the sesame seeds. Wrap each log in plastic wrap being sure to wrap tightly to keep air out. Place the logs in the refrigerator and chill for at least four hours or overnight. If you want to make these for some time in the future, you can place the wrapped logs in a zip-top bag, squeeze out the extra air, and freeze them.
Slice the logs into rounds about 1/4 inch thick. Place them on the prepared baking sheets and bake them for about 10 to 12 minutes. They should be lightly browned and firm to the touch. Allow them to rest for 5 minutes before using a spatula to move them to cool on wire racks. When they have cooled, place them in an airtight container to keep them crispy.
If you have chosen to freeze the Hanukah cheese gelt coins and it’s time to use them, take them out of the freezer to thaw slightly in the refrigerator. The dough must be cold enough to slice but not frozen.
This recipe makes about 7 dozen cheese gelt coins which is plenty for playing dreidel this Hanukah.