These Homemade Jingles Cookies are delicious buttery shortbread cookies with a touch of anise extract and lovely red and green sugar sprinkles.
They are the perfect holiday shortbread for Christmas.
Shortbread cookies are one my family’s favorite Christmas cookies, and this version is simply the best.
What Are Jingles Cookies?
If you are not familiar with these cookies, they are buttery shortbread cookies flavored with pure anise extract and a pinch of nutmeg.
It used to be store-bought cookies made by Keebler sold in the US during Fall that were then discontinued.
However, as a French person, I couldn’t resist making my own version of these little Christmas shortbread cookies. They remind me of the flavor of German shortbread dessert cookies that I used to eat as a kid.
How To Make Jingle Cookies
It’s a very easy shortbread Christmas cookie recipe made without eggs and easy to put together with minimal effort.
All you need to make these easy shortbread are:
- All-Purpose Flour
- Powdered Sugar
- Anise Extract
First, in a mixing bowl or stand mixer bowl, using the paddle attachment or electric beater beat the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
Next, add anise extract, nutmeg, and salt. Beat again to incorporate.
Finally, add in the flour and beat on low speed until it forms a soft buttery cookie dough.
Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 or 3 hours. You must chill the dough, or the cookies will shrink in the oven.
Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap it, and place it on a lightly floured kitchen counter.
This is up to you, but I love to add sprinkles to the dough. You can also roll out and cut out cookies from the dough without adding anything inside.
However, the red and green color looks lovely for Christmas.
Now, you might be wondering why adding them now and not earlier.
Adding the sprinkles to the cooled dough won’t spread the colors as much. When you knead sprinkles into a lukewarm cookie dough, the sprinkles melt in, coloring the dough.
Knead in some red and green crystal sugar sprinkles. Then, roll the dough into a 1-inch thickness and use cookie cutter to cut out shapes.
Feel free to use any cookie cutter shape, like a Christmas tree shape, love heart, stars, or classic round shortbread, as I did.
Baking Christmas Shortbread Cookies
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Slightly oil the paper with oil spray.
Place the cut-out cookies on the baking sheet, leaving a little space between them. The shortbreads won’t expand in the oven, so it’s okay.
The baking time varies from 10 to 12 minutes. Bake until they are slightly golden, not brown, and a bit soft to the touch.
The cookies firm up as they cool down on the cooling rack. Cool completely at room temperature until they are firm. It takes about 30 minutes.
Then, add more sugar sprinkles on top to decorate. The texture should be soft. The cookies melt in your mouth with a small crisp on the edges.
You can store your cookies in an airtight cookie box at room temperature for up to one week.
You can also freeze the cookies and meal prep before Christmas. Thaw at room temperature the day before serving
This is optional, but you can frost the cookies with a drizzle of my royal icing without meringue powder.
This adds a lovely snowy white effect, and the green and red sprinkles also stick better to the cookies.
If you like, add drops of anise extract to the frosting to boost the anise flavor of the cookies.
If you are allergic to some of the ingredients, you can try some of the substitutions below:
- Gluten-Free – I didn’t try all-purpose gluten-free flour, but I am confident this should work in the same ratio as all-purpose flour.
- Dairy-Free – Swap unsalted butter for unsalted plant-based butter or margarine.
- Sugar-Free – Powdered sugar-free sweeteners like powdered allulose should also work.
- Anise Extract – You can use a combination of vanilla and almond extract if you don’t like anise extract.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are my answers to your most common questions about these cookies.
What Can I Use Instead Anise Extract?
You can use almond extract or vanilla extract to make this Christmas cookies.
How Can I Shape The Cookies Without A Cookie Cutter?
You can roll the shortbread cookie dough in a log shape, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Then, slice into 1-inch slices and place on the baking sheet.
Can I Use Coconut Oil?
No, you can’t make shortbread with coconut oil. They get oily and overspread while baking.
You must use butter-like fat such as ghee, butter, or margarine.
More Cookie Recipes
Here’s some more cookie recipes for you to try.
Have you tried this jingle cookie recipe? Share a comment or review below.
- Beat unsalted softened butter with powdered sugar until fluffy. You can use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand beater.
- Add in anise extract, nutmeg, salt, and flour.
- Beat on low speed until a soft cookie dough forms. You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times with a spatula to bring all ingredients to the center of the bowl.
- If too dry or crumbly, beat in 1-2 tablespoons of milk. The dough should be buttery, sticky, and soft.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, shape the dough into a brick shape, and chill it for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and oil with cooking oil spray.
- Flour a work surface, add the chilled dough on it, sprinkle extra flour on top of the dough, and start rolling into a 1/4-inch thickness.
- Use cookie cutters to shape cookies, then transfer them to the prepared baking sheet.
- Sprinkle some jingle color sprinkles on top of each cookie.
- Bake in the center rack of the oven for 10-12 minutes. You don't want them to be golden brown or they get too crunchy.
- Store in a cookie jar for up to 1 week at room temperature.