20 Tasty Must-Try Hanukkah Cookies

Hanukkah is an important holiday for the Jewish people, so it is no surprise that there are various traditions surrounding Hanukkah. 

20 Tasty Must-Try Hanukkah Cookies

Much like Christmas, food is an important element of Hanukkah. Foods such as latkes and brisket are all well known for being enjoyed at Hanukkah, but cookies are also a popular sweet treat during the holiday. 

With this in mind, we are going to be looking at twenty Hanukkah-themed cookie recipes- including some traditional Hanukkah cookies- that are a delicious choice to add to the Hanukkah celebrations. Let’s get started. 

1. Kichel Cookies (Jewish Bow Tie Cookies)

Kichel are delicious Jewish cookies that are also known as Jewish Bow Tie Cookies due to their distinctive shape. 

Kichel is the Yiddish word for cookie and the treats themselves are light, crispy and sweet, taking the best parts of cookies and combining them with crackers, making for a treat that can be eaten as a sweet cookie and also as a savory one if you forgo the sugary coating and the vanilla. 

To make your own kichel, you will need sugar, salt, baking powder, eggs, all-purpose flour, vanilla, and vegetable oil. 

2. Sephardic Biscochos

Biscochos are another traditional Jewish cookie also known as biscotios or biscochos de huevo. They are shaped like rings are known for being eaten in Hanukkah but also during other Jewish holidays, such as Purim. 

The dough for biscochos typically contains regular ingredients such as flour, sugar and oil, but it can use a range of ingredients for a different flavor, such as vanilla, orange juice or anise extract. 

The cookies are then topped off with either egg wash or cinnamon sugar before they are sprinkled with sesame seeds, making for a fantastic combination of soft and crunchy textures. 

3. Rugelach Cookies

Rugelach is a beloved baked treat in the Jewish community, and there are all sorts of different takes on the recipe (as you will see with the different kinds of Rugelach that have made it onto this list!).

Rugelach are traditionally made with a triangle of dough that is formed into a crescent shape around a filling of some kind, giving them a similar taste and look to that of a French croissant. 

The buttery flakiness of Rugelach makes them a irresistible Hanukkah treat, but also a versatile one due to how much you can do in terms of different fillings. 

4. Hazelnut Gelt Cookies

Gelt cookies are a fun Jewish treat that are designed with kids in mind, as they feature chocolate coins in the middle for them to eat. 

The name gelt refers to the chocolate coins themselves, which are traditionally handed out to children during the Hanukkah festivities.

Although the recipes don’t always include chocolate coins nowadays, you will find that the cookies tend to be topped with a circular helping of chocolate to resemble the coins that were once used in the cookies. 

This is another versatile style of cookie that has various iterations that you will find on this list, though this particular choice features a creamy hazelnut topping. 

5. Chocolate Olive Oil Crinkle Gelt Cookies

Another take on the gelt cookie, this recipe includes an actual chocolate coin that is placed on top of the treat, making it a great choice to whip up if you have kids that you want to surprise with a fun type of cookie!

The cookies themselves are also a little different in that they are crinkle cookies, which have a soft texture but a crinkled look. 

This recipe involves finishing off the cookies with some golden food color spray, which is another element that ramps up the fun and is sure to please the kids. 

6. Chocolate Stuffed Dreidel Cookies

A dreidel is a spinning top with four sides that is commonly played with during Hanukkah, so why not turn them into cookies with this next recipe?

These dreidel cookies are another great option for children during Hanukkah, but also a delicious treat for the whole family. 

These sweet cookies feature a dreidel like shape and icing that is shaped like the images seen on a real dreidel, whereas the chocolate filling offers a velvety and rich surprise with every bite. 

7. Red Velvet Rugelach Cookies

Another take on the aforementioned rugelach cookie, these red velvet rugelach combine the best of traditional rugelach with the well known red velvet dessert that is typically seen in cake but can also be used in a range of different desserts. 

To make your own red velvet rugelach, you will need some red food coloring for that iconic red color as well as unsalted butter, an egg, cream cheese, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, sour cream, cocoa powder, and all-purpose flour. 

8. Spinning Hanukkah Dreidel Cookies

If you want to bake a dreidel cookie that is a little more subtle than the aforementioned recipe, then this spinning Hanukkah dreidel cookie could be exactly what you are looking for.

The cookies feature a pretty mixture of white and different shades of blues to create a swirled, spinning effect that reflects the spinning nature of the dreidel. 

The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t even need that many ingredients to make them, requiring all-purpose flour, margarine, vanilla extract, granulated sugar and an egg. 

9. Dreidel Surprise Cookies

This recipe is similar to the aforementioned dreidel cookies with a chocolate filling, but they go one step further by being filled with a range of treats!

Similarly to the other dreidel recipe, these also feature a dreidel like shape, white frosting and blue icing used to replicate the shapes found on the spinning top. 

The treats that you use to fill your cookies are completely up to you, with some options being candy, nuts, chocolate or raisins. 

10. Hanukkah Jelly Cookies

Jelly cookies are another fun way to treat the kids at Hanukkah in a festive way.

The cookies are made by having certain shapes cut into the top, which are then filled with that jelly (though you could also fill them with chocolate or any other filling you so choose). 

The cookies also feature a powdered sugar dusting to add to the sweetness of the treats.

11. Peanut Butter Gelt Cookies

These peanut butter gelt cookies are a great way to change up those aforementioned traditional gelt cookies for fans of a nuttier taste. 

The cookies still feature those chocolate coins that are used in the traditional gelt recipes, making for a delicious combination of peanut butter with the crunchy cookie and chocolate with the smooth coins. 

As well as being super tasty, these cookies are also gluten-free, grain free and dairy free (when you use non-dairy Hanukkah gelt for the coins). 

12. Chocolate Filled Hamantaschen

Hamantaschen are triangular pastry cookies that are often enjoyed during the Purim holiday, but are also popular to enjoy during Hanukkah. 

This particular choice of hamantaschen has a sweet vanilla scent and a chocolate filling that is reminiscent of brownies, making for a delicious combination of flavors as well as textures thanks to the smooth filling and the crunchy pastry exterior. 

13. Hanukkah Stained Glass Cookies

If you want to go all out with the aesthetics of your Hanukkah cookies, then these stained-glass cookies are a must-try. 

The cookies in this recipe are sweet and crumbly, whilst the stained-glass effect comes from crushed hard candies. 

The great thing about these cookies is that they are very easy to make, even the stained-glass candy element. 

14. Hanukkah Gelt Cookie Cake

If you want to do something different with the traditional gelt cookie recipe, then this Hanukkah gelt cookie cake is the perfect choice. 

The cake is basically a giant chocolate chip cookie that is golden and crispy on the outside and chewy and soft on the inside, topped off with gelt coins, frosting and a decent helping of sprinkles. 

This unique take on the gelt cookie is a must if you have kids that you want to surprise with something different whilst still maintaining some Hanukkah traditions this festive season. 

15. Brown Sugar Walnut Rugelach Cookies

If you are looking for a rugelach recipe with a sweet, nutty crunch, then these brown sugar walnut rugelach cookies are definitely the choice for you.

These cookies feature a flaky and tender exterior that combines wonderfully with the sweet filling made up of walnuts, brown sugar, honey and cinnamon. 

The recipe for these rugelach is pretty simple too, as you will only need cream cheese, egg yolk, butter, salt, flour and honey for the dough and brown sugar, cinnamon, mounded walnuts and butter for the filling. 

16. Hanukkah Sandwich Cookies

These sandwich cookies are a delicious choice as well as another cookie recipe that is well suited for kids due to the fun shapes and patterns that you can create with the recipe. 

There are all sorts of Hanukkah themed shapes that you can make with these sandwich cookies, such as menorahs, driedles, or Stars of David. 

The cookies feature a filling made up of figs, ground cinnamon, honey, orange zest and orange juice, making for a fruity and healthier choice.

17. Rainbow Menorah Cookie Pizza

Another unique Hanukkah dessert that is sure to be enjoyed by kids and adults alike, this dessert features a rainbow menorah- a seven branched candelabrum associated with Hanukkah- made from either modelling chocolate or colorful fondant. 

The combination of thick chocolate frosting with sweet fondant and a cripsy sugar cookie base makes for a highly delicious cookie dessert to enjoy during the festive season. 

18. Chocolate Rugelach

If chocolate is your flavor of choice, then this chocolate rugelach is a must-try for Hanukkah. 

The buttery and flaky dough surrounds the sweet and rich chocolate filling, making for a delicious dessert. 

A top tip for making the most out of these rugelach is to refrigerate the dough for at least an hour before you roll it out, and then chill it again before you slice it up and begin to bake it. 

19. Bubbie Ruth’s Mandel Bread

Mandel bread- or Mandelbrot- is a traditional Jewish recipe that is similar to Italian biscotti, though they are chock-full of chocolate chips. 

The versatility of this recipe makes it possible for the chocolate chips to be swapped out or combined with other ingredients if you so choose, such as pecans, walnuts or raisins. 

20. Star Of David Hanukkah Cookies

Last but not least, these chocolate and vanilla flavored cookies resemble the Star of David, which is a symbol generally recognized to reflect Judaism and Jewish identity.

These simple yet tasty cookies make for a great centerpiece at a Hanukkah get together thanks to their distinctive design. They are also incredibly delicious too, which is always a bonus!

You will need unsalted butter, vanilla extract, sugar, egg, all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder to make the cookies, whilst the decoration will also need powdered sugar, blue gel food dye (or whichever coloring you might choose) and white cookie icing. 

Are any of the Spring Cookie recipes suitable for Hanukkah?

When it comes to Hanukkah, superbly seasonal spring cookies may not be the first choice. However, with a little creativity, you can adapt traditional Hanukkah recipes to incorporate the essence of spring. Try adding floral flavors like lavender or citrus zest to your cookies to give them a fresh twist. Remember, the most important thing is to celebrate the holiday with loved ones and enjoy delicious treats together.

Frequently Asked Question

What Is Hanukkah?

The Jewish festival of Hanukkah- also known as the Festival of Lights or the feast of dedication- lasts for eight days every year. 

The holiday begins on the 25th day of Kislev- the ninth month of the ecclesiastical year and the third month of the civil year on the Hebrew calendar- which normally falls at any time in November or December in the Gregorian calendar. 

The festival commemorates the recovery of Jerusalem by the Jews and the rededication of the Second Temple that occurred at the start of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire, which occurred in the 2nd century BCE. 

Final Thoughts

So there you have twenty tasty Hanukkah cookies that are sure to go down a treat should you want to bake them for yourselves. 

You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy these sweet treats, but if you do celebrate the holiday and are looking for some cookie recipes to bake for the next Hanukkah, then this list offers a wide range of options to choose from. 

20 Tasty Must-Try Hanukkah Cookies

20 Tasty Must-Try Hanukkah Cookies

Recipe by Jenna

If you are looking for some delicious cookies to try and bake for yourself this Hanukkah, take a look at our list of twenty delicious Hanukkah cookies.

Course: Dessert
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