Hanukkah Cut-Out Cookies

A gift bag of cookies shaped and decorated for Hanukkah


Everyone loves cookies!  Hanukkah cookies are traditional this time of year. For this recipe, you can be creative and use your favorite sugar, gingerbread, or shortbread cookie dough.  Not to mention, add your own decorating tips.


Preheat oven to 375° F. Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, cream the sugar and the shortening. Add eggs one at a time, then add the orange juice and vanilla and mix until completely blended. Add the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined and dough is formed.

Divide into dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes until dough is chilled and easier to handle.

Roll out dough with floured rolling pin on floured board. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets. Decorate with colored sugar or paint with Cookie Glaze.

Bake 8-10 minutes on prepared cookie sheets

For Cookie Glaze

Mix yolk, water and food coloring together in a small bowl. Paint the cookies with clean paint brushes.


  • 1 Cup sugar
  • ½ Cup shortening
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 3 Cups flower
  • 2 Teaspons baking powder
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Additional flour for rolling dough
  • 1 Large egg yolk, lightly beaten (For cookie glaze)
  • ¼ Teaspoon water (For cookie glaze)
  • Assorted food colors (For cookie glaze)
A plate of fried sweet dough known as Svinge in Hebrew

Svinge – Fried Sweet Dough

Svinge is a fried sweet dough and is a Hanukkah favorite.

Delicious and flakey Baklava with a piece cut out of the side

Baklava (Honey and Nut Pastry)

Baklava is a delicacy found throughout the Arab world. The Jews who came to Israel from Arab countries continue to prepare and enjoy the taste of baklava. This sweet pastry is sold in both Jewish and Arab markets, and comes in a multitude of varieties.



The word kichlach is Yiddish for cookies and derived from central Europe. Israeli soldiers enjoy getting parcels with sweet things from home; and mothers are very efficient in keeping them well-supplied with cakes. The popular kichlach are to be found in many of the packages destined for these young soldiers.

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