Yid.Dish: Got gelt? Post-Chanukah suggestions for using up less-than-amazing chocolate

Buckeyes - the state candy of Ohio

Chanukah gelt always seems like a good idea at the beginning of December, but these days, the chocolate just doesn’t seem worth fighting with the foil to eat. Similar to Rhea Yablon Kennedy‘s experience, we wanted to find another way to use up our leftovers. When my roomies came back from a trip to Ohio they were inspired to make Buckeyes – the unofficial candy of the state of Ohio. Buckeyes are a tree nut and the candies do resemble the naturally occurring buckeye. Rachel, who hails from Cincinnati, referenced the Isaac M. Wise Temple Sisterhood cookbook for recipes. Not 1, but 2 recipes can be found (pages 113 and 114 for those of you who have the 2001 edition of the cookbook).  The Hazon office sure enjoyed these tasty treats…Buckeyes are basically peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate.

  • 2 cups of peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
  • 1/4 lbs. butter
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • dash salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips/chanukah gelt
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil

In a large bowl, cream together peanut butter, butter, sugar, salt and vanilla. Place bowl in refrigerator for 1 hour or until easy to handle. Form marble-size balls, place on waxed paper covered cookie sheet and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. In a double boiler, melt chocolate and oil together, stirring until well combined. Dip chilled balls into chocolate mixture to almost cover, immediately return to cookie sheet.If chocolate is leftover, check out what you have in your pantry. We found shredded coconut and almonds and made what we were calling bird’s nests by throwing those ingredients into the melted chocolate and spooning them out onto the cookie sheet. However you enjoy it, this is a great way to reuse and recycle leftover chocolate. Now, anybody got any good ideas for the foil?

Melting Chanukah Gelt

Melting our leftover Chanukah gelt.

Buckeye nuts


The buckeye nut from the real buckeye tree. Photo of the buckeye tree from my aunt Libbe Madsen – from her home in Laytonville, CA where I went to unwind for a couple days after the Hazon Food Conference.

Bird’s Nests - chocolate/coconut/almond goodness

Bird’s Nests – chocolate/coconut/almond goodness

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8 Responses to “Yid.Dish: Got gelt? Post-Chanukah suggestions for using up less-than-amazing chocolate”

  1. Loren Says:

    Looks inviting, but doesn’t obviate the labor of foil removal. Any suggestions on that front?

  2. Alan Says:


    Those look terrific! Thanks to the author for the suggestions! And, for reminding usd that the tried and true recipes are found in Sisterhood Cookbooks. They are the next best thing to The little book with the rubber band holding in all the recipes that we all wished we had from our grandmothers.

  3. Leah Says:

    These do look yummy. :) Jcarrot featured sisterhood and synagogue recipe collections on our site a while back in our ode to Revolutionary Cookbooks:


  4. Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster Says:

    The big mystery: Can you deep-fry Chanukah gelt (like people do with twinkies and mars bars)? I meant to this year and never got around to it. I worry that the gelt wouldn’t hold together.

    Of course, in a few months, deep fried hamatschen? Maybe not.

  5. Rachel Says:

    A past experience frying Snickers leads me to believe you can definitely fry gelt!
    1) Unwrap the little suckers and stick ‘em in the freezer
    2) make a batter thick enough to cover and stick to the gelt
    3) Fry away!

    The freezing and battering should keep that gelt from melting too much–let me know if you try it!

    As for the problem of the foil–don’t let that stuff go to waste! Purim costume anyone? I’m thinking a breast plate :)

  6. deva Says:

    i just bough gelt on sale at the cvs (90% off!). talk about impulse buys. my kids wanted it but once they tasted the chocolate they abandoned it in favor of popcorn with nutritional yeast.

    my son, who is five, suggested that it “would taste better as a cookie.”


    deep fried hamantaschen would totally work as long as you sealed the exposed part so the fruit filling does not contact the oil.

    it would be quite nice dipped eaten with chanukah gelt fondue.

  7. Aaron Says:

    Avigail, great post. One correct, I’d call Buckeyes the official candy of Ohio. It’s also the official holiday activity for bored children during the high holidays. It’s a sure-fire way to get your bored kids to forget how bad this year’s high holiday services were!

    Prep time: Length of services before you leave
    Tossing time: Barely any


    -One soccer ball (number 5 preferably)
    -Two bored kids
    -One strong dad


    1. Ask mom and dad when services are going to be over (it’s only 9am now) every 15-20 minutes (depends on quality of services).

    2. Mom and dad drive you and your sibling to local elementary school and find it’s largest buckeye tree.

    3. You repeatedly try tossing and/or kicking soccer ball (see above) into the tree to make fresh buckeyes fall from trees. (The ball barely reaches your hands)

    4. Dad (in his macho-Jewish role) throws the ball up into the tree (and throws out his back as well) and knocks down a half dozen fresh buckeye nuts (similar to a pinyata).

    5. You and your sibling take the spike-encased buckeyes and place them on the concrete sidewalk. Gently roll your shoe over the buckeye to release the brown-and-tan nut from its shell (watch out for hungry squirrels).

    6. Great success! Wear it on a necklace or in your pocket to an OSU football game for a guaranteed win.

    **WARNING: This recipe should only be conducted with a buckeye-harvesting certified dad within the state of Ohio.**

  8. anitra eskovitz Says:

    Could you please forward this to my old friend Libbe madsen and let her know that i am lookin for her. The cabdy looks nice too.

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