12 Tasty Hanukkah Cookies to Serve at Your Holiday Celebration

Hanukkah—the eight day Jewish holiday known as the Festival of Lights—begins on December 18 this year, which means it’s almost time to dust off the menorah and start planning your menu. Whether you’re hosting a Hanukkah celebration or simply hoping not to show up empty-handed to someone else’s, it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with some of the holiday’s tastiest treats.

According to Gadi Peleg, owner of Breads Bakery, Hanukkah is all about the miracle of oil, which means fried foods take center stage—and this is true of the dessert menu, too. Indeed, Peleg tells us that “the sweet most associated with the holiday is the Sufganiya, a fried donut, but really a Berliner,” adding that the most beloved sufganiyot is one that’s filled with strawberry jelly and dusted with powdered sugar.

That said, the task of frying donuts in a huge vat of oil can be a tad intimidating for the average home baker. Fortunately, our list of the most festive Hanukkah cookies is a clever workaround that will allow you to bake a treat that suits the occasion without straying too far from your comfort zone in the kitchen. And sure, it may not be the most traditional Hanukkah dessert (“the cookie is likely an American tradition which was borrowed from Christmas,” Peleg tells us) but it’s sure to go down a treat at your holiday celebration, plus be a project that the whole family (toddlers, too!) can get involved in. Hanukkah Sameach!

The Best Cookie Recipes in the Whole Entire Universe

Katherine Gillen

1. Tie-Dye Sugar Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, <10 ingredients

Combine this neat tie-dye technique with a festive white and blue palette, and then pat yourself on the back for baking up a seriously groovy batch of Hanukkah cookies.

Hanukkah cookies Pumpkin Butter Rugelach Cookies
Half-Baked Harvest

2. Pumpkin Butter Rugelach Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

Here, cinnamon-spiked pumpkin butter and crunchy pecans combine to create a rugelach filling that will have you hooked from Halloween until Hanukkah.

Hanukkah Cookies Hamantaschen Pie
Cupcake Project

3. Hamantaschen Pie

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser

Although hamantaschen are typically enjoyed during Purim, Coterie member Stefani Pollack proves these tasty cookies make a fine crust for a Hanukkah pie.

Hanukkah Cookies Rugelach Cookies
Sally’s Baking Addiction

4. Rugelach Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, make-ahead

The filling of these flaky, buttery and festive cookies is highly adaptable, but this classic recipe is an excellent place to start if you’re new to making rugelach.

Hanukkah Cookies Chocolate Matzo Crack
Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

5. Chocolate Matzo Crack

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: gluten-free, <30 minutes

Why wait for Passover to bust out the matzo recipes when you can use the stuff to make a crunchy, chocolate Hanukkah treat that will put your neighbor’s peppermint bark to shame.

Hannukah Cookies Smores Hamantaschen
Nosh with Micah

6. S’mores Hamantaschen

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 45 minutes (including cooling time)
  • Why I Love It: make-ahead, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

The tried-and-true marshmallow and chocolate combo in this hamantaschen recipe is just right for the winter holidays—just double check that your marshmallows are kosher before you proceed.

Hannukah Cookies Butter Cookie Wreaths
Saving Room for Dessert

7. Butter Cookie Wreaths

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, make-ahead, crowd-pleaser

These buttery, sugar-crusted shortbread cookies feature a six-point star in the center, which means they’ll fit right in with the Hanukkah spread.

Hanukkah Cookies Chocolate Rugelach
The Cupcake Project

8. Chocolate Rugelach

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <1 hour, make-ahead, crowd-pleaser

This recipe calls for cream cheese in both the dough and the filling to create an exceptionally rich and sinfully delicious pastry that no one will mind eating for eight days straight.

Hanukkah Cookies Egg Kichel
The Cupcake Project

9. Egg Kichel

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser

A cross between a croissant and a sugar cookie—this traditional treat is incredibly light and airy. Make an extra big batch for Hanukkah (they’ll disappear quickly) and don’t forget to spruce them up with sprinkles for a more festive presentation.

Hanukkah Cookies Pecan Pie Hamantaschen
Nosh with Micah

10. Pecan Pie Hamantaschen

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

Everyone’s favorite holiday pie just befriended a classic Jewish cookie, and let’s just say it’s a perfect union.

Hanukkah Cookies Old World Linzer Cookies
Saving Room for Dessert

11. Old World Linzer Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

These Austrian cookies, which are composed of almond-scented dough and a lightly sweetened jam filling, have been satisfying sweet tooths since the 17th century. The small star cut-out in the center is a subtle, festive touch, but if you want to go all-in on the Hanukkah theme, feel free to use a cookie cutter to shape the dough into Star of David sandwiches instead.

Hanukkah Cookies Simple Honey Cookies
The Cupcake Project

12. Simple Honey Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, one bowl, make-ahead

In the Torah, manna is described as being like “honey wafers” and these crispy, buttery honey cookies are, indeed, heaven-sent.  (They’re also a perfect canvas for festive decorations, so don’t hesitate to jazz ‘em up however you see fit.)

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Freelance PureWow Editor

Emma Singer is a freelance contributing editor and writer at PureWow who has over 7 years of professional proofreading, copyediting and writing experience. At PureWow, she covers...