It might seem odd to use feta cheese in a dessert recipe, but it pairs perfectly with the sticky sweet honey, and the pistachios provide crunch and additional depth of flavor.

Why doughnuts? After winning the war against the Syrians, the Maccabees returned to Jerusalem to liberate it. They entered the Temple and cleared it of the idols placed there by the Syrian vandals. Since the Temple’s golden menorah had been stolen by the Syrians, the Maccabees now made one of cheaper metal. When they wanted to light it, they found only a small cruse of pure olive oil bearing the seal of the high priest. It was sufficient to light the menorah only for one day, but by a miracle of G d it continued to burn for eight days, till new oil was made available, which is why we celebrate Chanukah for eight days. Because of the miracle of the oil, it’s traditional to eat fried foods on Chanukah (like doughnuts and latkes).

Happy Chanukah!


  • 2¼ tsp. dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp. warm water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 6 tbsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp. oil or melted butter
  • 3+ cups flour
  • Oil for frying
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup roughly chopped pistachios


  1. Place yeast, warm water and 1 tsp. sugar in bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes until frothy.
  2. Mix yeast mixture with the remaining sugar, oil, egg, salt, and soy/almond milk and 1 cup of flour on a low speed.
  3. Slowly add in the rest of the flour until dough is no longer sticky. It should feel somewhat like a bread dough.
  4. Knead for 5 minutes, then cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let rise approximately 1 hour, until dough has doubled in size.
  5. Roll the dough into small balls. Lay the balls out on parchment paper and let rise 30-60 minutes.
  6. Heat oil in a frying pan or pot. Drop in a few doughnuts at a time. Flip each doughnut so each side can brown.
  7. Remove the doughnuts from the oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
  8. Transfer the doughnuts to a serving platter. Drizzle generously with honey, and sprinkle with crumbled feta and chopped pistachios.