Candle Cupcakes

"Making you own menorah is one of the great pleasures of celebrating Hanukkah. Menorahs can come in all different shapes, made from nearly any materials, as long as each candle is kept separate and distinct from the others and they are in one line with the shammas raised. These candle cupcakes can be arranged together in nearly any shape -- a circle, square, straight line, or whatever you can imagine -- to form a different and deliciously edible menorah."

Makes at least 12 cup-cakes. 9 to make your menorah and a few extra to enjoy right away

14 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pint chocolate ice cream or frozen yoghurt
Fresh raspberries for garnish

Food processor
Muffin tins
Paper cupcake liners
Large spoon
Hanukkah candles

Adult: To make the crust, whirl 12 of the cookies in a food processor until ground very fine. Melt the butter in a small saucepan or microwave and mix well with the cookies.

Child: Put one paper cupcake liner in each muffin mold. Using your fingers, press some of the cookie-butter mixture along the bottom and up the sides of each mold. Try to get the cookie mixture pressed together as smoothly and evenly as you can. Remove the ice cream or frozen yoghurt from the freezer and let it soften slightly for a few minutes, then spoon it into the cookie molds, pressing down until smooth. Fill the molds with the ice cream or frozen yoghurt.

Adult: Place the filled tins in the freezer until they hold together well, about 3 hours or until you're ready to use them.

Child: Insert a Hanukkah candle into the center of each cupcake. Refreeze until very solid in the tins, and wrap well. (You can even do this a week ahead.) When ready to make your menorah, remove the tins from the freezer, then carefully remove each cupcake, with its liner, from the tins. Arrange the menorah as you wish -- in a row or a circle, but make sure to elevate the shammasby placing it on the remaining two sandwich cookies. Then immediately light the candles and say the blessings. Of course, this doesn't take the place of the real menorah. Be sure to blow out the candles before the ice cream gets soft!

From The Children's Jewish Holiday Kitchen, Copyright © 1995 by Joan Nathan

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