Sweet vanilla flavored cookies. Easy and fun activity with the kids for Hanukkah and perfect as an edible gift too.
Hanukkah usually occurs during the time of the year when everyone is baking cookies while enjoying some family time at home. The weather is cold and all you want is a cup of tea or hot cocoa and some yummy cookies to go with it. These cookies are the perfect treat and they are super festive with their Hanukkah themed decorations and shapes.
Hanukkah has two traditional foods, jelly donuts ("sufganiyot") and latkes - this festive cookie recipe will complete your holiday table. Check out my Hannukah recipe index for all the latkes and donuts that you have to try. These cookies can also be called butter cookies.
- All purpose flour
- Vanilla extract or paste
- Dark chocolate
See recipe card for quantities.
To form the batter of the cookies, I use a stand mixer. You can also do it with a bowl and a tablespoon but I find it easier and quicker with the stand mixer.
Simply mix all dough ingredients and then let the dough rest for 1 hour in the fridge.
Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut out the cookies with the cookie cutters.
Bake shortly until the edges start to golden and cool the cookies completely before starting to decorate them.
To simplify the cookie decorating, I used melted chocolate that I piped with a piping bag. I find it so much easier than making icing from scratch with egg whites. With my recipe, you simply place a few pieces of chocolate in a piping bag and place the bag in a cup of boiling water. Wait a few minutes and you can start decorating the cookies! On top of the chocolate, I added some colorful sprinkles and I think the outcome is very festive and beautiful.
The recipe yields approximately 20 cookies. If you need more cookies than you can double the flour, sugar and butter amounts. Note that you don’t need to use two eggs or double the vanilla portions.
- Butter - for parve cookies (non-dairy) use margarine or coconut oil. I personally don't like to use margarine but it's still an option.
- Egg - if you need to avoid eggs or to make the cookies vegan, switch the butter to one of the two options and the egg to ⅛ cup of cold water.
- All purpose flour - if you need gluten free cookies use a gluten free all purpose flour.
For the decorations, if you want, you can also use white chocolate and add some edible color to it. Make sure the color is oil based because water based colors won't work when mixed with chocolate.
See other cookie recipes on my cookie recipe index.
The shapes of the cookies are the Star of David, a dreidel and a menorah which is called Hanukia in Hebrew. All the shapes are related to Hanukkah, which is why it’s a perfect holiday treat. Of course you can make the cookies in any shape and if you are looking for some cookie cutters, check out these options. They can also be a gift for your kids for Hanukkah.
Store the cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week or even a bit more. Place the container in a dry area of the kitchen and avoid humidity as much as possible, it will change the cookies texture and the decorations might melt too. If you want to freeze the cookies do it without the decorations. Either freeze the dough and then thaw and bake or freeze the baked cookies for up to 2 months.
Don't worry if the decorations are not so perfect, the cookies are all tasty regardless of their look.
Hanukkah Sugar Cookies
- 1¼ cups (175 grams) all purpose flour
- ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar
- 1 (100 grams) stick melted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract / paste
For the garnish:
- A chocolate bar (I used dark chocolate)
- In a stand mixer bowl, place the melted butter and sugar.
- With the flat beater attachment, beat the butter and sugar.
- Add the egg and vanilla and continue beating until unified.
- Add the flour and mix for a couple minutes until the batter becomes dough (make sure you don’t mix for too long otherwise the dough will turn tough).
- With your hands, create a single ball of dough and wrap with plastic.
- Let the dough rest for 1 hour in the fridge.
- Set the oven to 170°C / 350°F with the fan.
- On a floured surface, roll the dough until it is ¼ to ⅜ inch thick.
- Cut the dough with cookie cutters in various shapes to your liking. Then on a baking pan with a baking sheet, place the cutouts 1 inch apart.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden.
- Cool the cookies at room temperature.
- Melt a few cubes of chocolate in a piping bag that has been sitting in a glass of boiling water.
- Cut a small hole at the end of the piping bag and decorate the cookies as you like.
- Sprinkle the sprinkles on the chocolate while it is still wet.
- Let the decorations set on the cookies.
- Have a cookie and happy Hanukkah!