Home Desserts Cookies 15 Traditional Hanukkah Cookies

15 Traditional Hanukkah Cookies

Along with your brisket, latkes, and matzo soup, how about celebrating this year with a table full of yummy Hanukkah cookies?

Also known as the Festival of Lights, this wonderful holiday commemorates one of the most celebrated miracles in Jewish history.

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Homemade Hanukkah Cookies with Blue Star Icing

And if that doesn’t call for cookies, I don’t know what does! So make these ahead to save yourself time on the big day.

Rugelach is a must, of course, as is Mandel bread.

But there are so many fun and unique recipes out there to help make this Hanukkah a little bit more special. Enjoy!

1. Rugelach

I’ve been making (and eating!) rugelach for as long as I can remember.

They’re so light and sweet, with just the right amount of crunch and buttery goodness.

They can be filled with anything from fruit and nuts to chocolate, and the dough takes just minutes to prepare. 

Using a food processor, this pastry comes together in just a few pulses. Then, let it chill in the fridge before rolling out and filling. 

The best thing about this is that you don’t have to be super neat when rolling or cutting your portions. 

In fact, these are best when they look rustic and homemade, so don’t worry about making a perfect little triangle (like you would with croissants). 

2. Bubbie Ruth’s Mandel Bread

Mandel bread is very similar to biscotti in terms of shape and texture.

Both require double baking, though this version can be softer if you prefer.

Unlike regular cookie dough, which is easily handled, this dough is much softer and stickier.

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That’s why it needs two hours in the fridge before you mold it into those logs. 

First, you’ll bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175°C) for 25 minutes.

Then, cut it into portions, roll in cinnamon sugar, and bake again at 250 degrees Fahrenheit (120°C) until golden. 

3. Hazelnut Gelt Cookies

Gelt cookies are a fun little treat that usually includes chocolate coins for the kids.

The cookie can be almond or hazelnut, but there must be chocolate in there, too!

This version uses a lovely light hazelnut shortbread, with just a hint of orange zest.

I always toasted my hazelnuts before blitzing them to help release the natural oils. 

Not only will your cookies taste that much better, but your kitchen will smell amazing.

Feel free to top these with chocolate coins if you have them. If not, a simple circle of chocolate and some gold sprinkles will do the trick. 

4. Dreidel Surprise Cookies

The kids will go nuts for these fun, surprise-filled cookies!

I have to admit that they take a little extra time to make.

Plus, you’ll need two and a half pieces for one cookie, so you’ll need to make a pretty big batch. 

But if you have a mixer, it’s no problem at all. 

Once you’ve rolled the dough out, you’ll need three pieces per cookie.

The top and bottom will be the full dreidel shape, but you’ll need to cut the middle out of the center piece.

That’s where the filling goes. Use frosting as glue, and watch as they fly off the plate. 

5. Star of David Hanukkah Cookies

These cookies are a little easier to make, though you will need to pipe the star on top. 

I find it easier to bake and cool the star-shaped cookies and then dip the cookies in icing.

It will give you a cleaner surface and save you a lot of time in piping. 

Also, this would be better if you used royal icing. That way, the cookies won’t damage as easily.

6. Chocolate Glazed Donut Cookies

How adorable do these look?

As much as I love donuts, they take a long time to make, need frying in hot oil, and don’t hold up well.

Ideally, they need to be made and eaten on the same day. 

But with it being a holiday, who has time for that? So instead, these cute donut cookies are the next best thing. 

Although these are chocolate donut cookies, you could easily make them white or blue if you wanted to. 

Just use the same royal icing recipe from above and add whatever color you like best!

7. Kichel (Jewish Bow Tie Cookies)

Kichel are very simple but very tasty little cookies.

They are kind of a cross between cookies and crackers, with a light and crisp texture and lovely sweet, sugary coating. 

Much like the Mandel bread, this dough will be very sticky when you’re done. That’s normal, I promise. 

After a quick rest, you’ll pour the dough onto a piece of parchment that’s covered in sugar.

Gently roll or pat it out until it’s about 1/4 inch thick, then top it with extra sugar. 

Carefully lift and twist these into bows and bake until they’re puffed up and golden. 

8. Chocolate-Filled Hamantaschen

These traditional triangular-shaped cookies are usually made during the Jewish festival of Purim.

It’s believed that the shape is a nod to Haman’s triangular hat, and more often than not, you’ll see them filled with apricot jam.

This version is slightly different, filling each cookie with an almost brownie-like center which bakes into a lovely, rich, fudgy middle. 

All that’s missing is a drizzle of dark chocolate. 

9. Chocolate Rugelach 

Since rugelach dough is so simple to make, why not make a few different flavors at once?

Of course, you’ll need to make them into different shapes to tell which is which.

These chocolate cookies are like mini cinnamon rolls, quickly setting them apart from the crescent-shaped cookies from the top.

I like to use dark chocolate in mine, but semi-sweet is a great choice too. I would probably stay away from milk chocolate, though, as it’s a lot sweeter.

10. Gluten Free Duvshaniot {Israeli Honey Cookies}

Also known as honey buttons, these cookies are traditionally made with honey and spices and a sweet glaze on the top.

This version forgoes the glaze for a simple cracked, powdered sugar coating, and they’re gluten-free to boot. 

Luckily, gluten-free flour has come a long way in recent years, so these will taste just like regular Duvshaniot. 

11. Tahini Cookies

Tahini has such a lovely, light nutty taste, and though it’s pretty savory, you’ll be amazed at how it can make these cookies pop. 

Though it lacks that subtle sweetness of nut butter, you can use it as you would peanut butter since it has a similar thick texture. 

As this recipe doesn’t call for eggs, it’s more like a nutty shortbread recipe. I added mini-chocolate chips, and they came out super buttery and rich.

12. Red Velvet Rugelach

It’s safe to say you don’t need to worry about the shape of these babies! How great do these look with that deep red hue?

This version uses cream cheese in the dough, which adds a slight tang and a ton of moisture to the mix.

I always recommend using gel food coloring in baking, but it’s especially important with red velvet. 

To get a deep enough color, you’d need way too much of the liquid stuff, which can affect how the cookies (or cakes!) come out. 

13. Easy Hanukkah Cookies

If you’re in a rush, these gorgeous blue, white, and silver sprinkles will make anything festive and fun for Hanukkah.

Did I mention this recipe calls for a box cake mix? Yeah, it’s that easy!

Just blend the dry cake mix with oil and eggs and portion onto a baking tray. They’ll be ready in about 8-10 minutes.

Once cooled, spoon over some blue icing and top with fun sprinkles. 

Coconut Macaroons

14. 5-Ingredient Chewy Coconut Macaroons

Coconut macaroons are a terrific gluten-free cookie to make when you need something sweet and chewy but totally flour and nut-free.

Start by whisking egg whites until they reach stiff peaks.

If you find they’re not whipping up, you may need to start again and be sure to thoroughly clean the mixer. 

The egg whites won’t whip if the bowl has even the smallest amount of oil on the surface. Try wiping the surface with lemon juice or white vinegar.

15. Rainbow Menorah Cookie Pizza

Cookie pizzas a fantastic when feeding a crowd. Not only do they look incredible, but they’re easier to decorate than a hundred little cookies. 

The hardest part here will be making the menorah. That said, it’s so much fun, it won’t feel like work at all. 

To make the tie-dye effect, just mix a bunch of different colors into your fondant, then roll into logs and twist. 

I used bowls to get the cleanest lines and a small petal-shaped cookie cutter.

15 Traditional Hanukkah Cookies

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Hanukkah Cookies

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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