Gelt, American Style


With the convergence of Chanukah and Thanksgiving, someone, somewhere came up with the name Thanksgivukah for this holiday, and that’s fine with me. But it’s not a Jewish holiday if there’s no special food for it, and we’ve never had Thanksgivukah before. So it’s up to us to invent some appropriate goodies to eat.

Now, when I was a kid we didn’t get eight days of gifts. We got money, gelt. I remember my father coming over and handing us coins and for my older brother, a dollar bill, which was a fortune for both giver and getter.

I don’t remember when the real gelt became chocolate. But my children and grandchildren think the foil-wrapped candy is the real thing. And in our family we do give gifts and gelt. The chocolate kind.

So I went with that, and created these Cranberry-Gelt Truffles. Everyone loves chocolate of course, but I like to think of these as a delicious way to give thanks for lots of things, including Thanksgivukah, using Jewish Chanukah gelt and those wonderful red berries that are indigenous to America.

Truffles take time and can be messy. Don’t hurry things. The ganache, or chocolate base, needs to be cold enough to work with. It’s smart to wear disposable gloves because some of the chocolate could melt in your hands.

You can use actual dark chocolate coins or the dark chocolate of your choice, to make it easier and save the bother of unwrapping so many pieces of candy. If you do use candy coins, make sure to weight them and don’t use milk chocolate. It cooks differently and it’s more complicated for home cooks to use.

Please don’t be concerned that the truffles are not perfectly round and same-size. They’re supposed to look like the odd-shaped fungi they’re