The dreidel is one of the best-known games during Chanukah. This four-sided spinning top has four letters: Shin, Hey, Gimmel and Nun. These letters mean “a great miracle happened there.”  Each letter has a fate, Nun means nothing happens, and the next player spins the dreidel, Gimmel takes all the tokens in the pot, Hey takes half the pot and Shin the player must put one token in the pot.

As well as playing the dreidel game with chocolate Chanukah gelt, why not play with these Chanukah cookies! These delicious dreidel shaped cookies are light and simple to make.  You can shape them using a dreidel cutter (I found some on the internet) but you can make them using a paper template and drawing round that. For an authentic look, you can also pipe a selection of Shin, Hey, Gimmel and Nun Hebrew letters using ready made colored icing. Little helpers will love making these!

To grind the Brazil nuts, place in a food processor for 2-3 minutes until completely ground.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes; Cooking Time: 15 minutes; Makes: 60 cookies

½ cup margarine/unsalted butter
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 cup ground Brazil nuts – ground in a food processor
1 cup all purpose plain flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon almond extract
Topping: Colored icing, colored sprinkles

1. In a food processor, cream together butter or margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Stir in the egg, orange zest, and ground Brazil nuts.
3. Sift together flour and baking powder. Add to the creamed mixture.
4. Mix well. Stir in almond extract.
5. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
6. Roll out dough 1 inch thick on a lightly floured board.
7. Cut into dreidel shapes or other desired shapes.
8. Bake on a tray lined with non-stick baking parchment paper for 15 minutes.
9. When cool, pipe a selection of Hebrew letters. Can be frozen or stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

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