Jingles Cookies: sweet shortbread cookies with anise extract. You’ll love these melt in your mouth Christmas cookies covered in red and green sprinkled!
For more festive cookies, be sure to try these Italian Ricotta cookies. Our family is obsessed with the soft texture and sweet glaze! Or try our Coconut Macaroons…we even dipped the bottoms in chocolate!
What Are Jingles?
Jingles are shortbread cookies flavored with pure anise extract and a touch of nutmeg. They used to show up in stores around November, sprinkled with red and green for the season!
You can imagine how disappointed I was then when this year’s package of Jingles didn’t taste as delicious as I remembered. I can’t put my finger on it but they just don’t have that “zip” that makes them special anymore.
I searched for a recipe to make homemade jingles cookies and came up empty handed. So, I did what any food blogger would do: attempted to create my own!
These Homemade Jingles Cookies beat the store bought ones by a mile.
The flavor is spot on, just like I remembered! You’ll love these as an alternative to the Keebler classics or as a way to mix up your rotation of Christmas cookies!
- Anise – These cookies get their signature flavor from pure anise extract added to the dough. The recipe lists 1.5 teaspoons but you can add more or less depending on how strong you want the anise flavor to be. I usually end up adding closer to 2 teaspoons!
- Powdered sugar- Using powdered sugar gives these cookies the familiar melt-in-your mouth texture. There’s no substitute that I know of that creates cookies with quite the same consistency!
- Sprinkles – I used red and green sugar crystal sprinkles to keep the Christmas theme. Feel free to mix up the colors for different occasions and make them all year round.
Start by beating the powdered sugar and butter, then mix in the remaining ingredients (except sprinkles) to form a crumbly dough.
Use your hands to press the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic cling wrap and shape into a log. Chill the dough while you preheat the oven.
After 30 minutes, unwrap the log of dough and cut the cookies in slices 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle the unbaked cookies with sugar crystals and bake for 13 to 15 minutes.
So easy and oh so delicious!
Tips & Tricks
- Instead of chilling slicing cookies, you can roll sections of dough into 2 inch balls and press them into disks with the bottom of a drinking glass! Dampen the glass with water and press into granulated sugar to keep the cookie dough from sticking.
- For an even easier cutting method, press the cookie dough into a rectangle, sprinkle with the sugar crystals and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Slice the cookie rectangle into squares or other desired shape as soon as you remove them from the oven.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy within a week for best freshness!
Without the anise, Jingles aren’t Jingles! However, you can still make these as a simple plain shortbread cookie if you like by replacing the anise with vanilla. Just don’t call them Jingles!
You can freeze shortbread cookies but the sugar crystals will bleed color into the cookies as they thaw. The cookies will still taste good but won’t look quite as neat!
Chilling the dough log helps firm it up enough to slice into disks. If you don’t have time to wait, use a drinking glass to press balls of dough into flat circles before baking. (See Tips & Tricks above.)
More Cookie Recipes
- Twix Cookies
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- No Bake Cookies
- Lemon Butter Cookies
- Soft Molasses Cookies
- Butterscotch Cookies
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Santa loves Jingles Cookies and so will you! This homemade version has all the irresistible anise flavor of the packaged originals but tastes even fresher because you made them yourself.
The 1st time I made this I followed the recipe exactly. My husband wanted a little bit more anise flavor so I doubled the extract for the 2nd batch. We absolutely love these thank you for sharing your recipe.
So happy to hear it!
Any thoughts on whether or not gluten free flour would work? We are GF and I MISS Jingles!!!
Can I use a cookie cutter to make holiday shapes?
Very close to Jingles! Taste is there for sure! Do you think if we made them thinner they’d be better?
Thanks for sharing
So I attempted to make these today, hoping to relive my childhood. I followed the recipe exactly, but the dough was super crumbly. I managed to get it into a log shape in syran wrap, but when I went to slice it after chilling, it just crumbled with each slice. I had to toss the whole batch. Any suggestions as to what I did wrong?
Same with me. Disappointed
Make sure to measure your flour correctly. Don’t “Scoop” the flour. Spoon it into the measuring cup, makes a difference!
We just made these cookies and they are DELICIOUS! So fun to make and decorate!
I don’t have Anise extract I have Anise in dry form will that work? If so how much would I use.
These are so delicious and so easy to make. And they make the whole house smell like Christmas!
Holy Mother of Dragons, these are good! They came out crispy with an amazing flavor. These are going to be my new holiday traditional cookie. Thanks for ANOTHER great recipe.
can i use salted butter and regular salt?/
If using salted butter, skip the salt!
The reason they taste different these days is because Salerno ( a company from Buffalo, NY) originally made them. Keener somehow acquired the recipe and now makes a poor imitation of the holiday cookies that Buffalonians waited all year for a month’s long binge of.
I’m fairly certain you have that backward. Keebler had them and Salerno ruined them.
No, Salerno made jingles, anise flavored. The good ones. Keebler bought the name, and shapes. They aren’t the same at all and are not anise flavored. Avoid those. Salerno still produces the original cookies under the name of “Santa’s Favorites”. They haven’t been jingles for years now, but they are the same cookies.
I tried these and they turned out really nice but my family did not like the anise flavoring. Just too strong for them. Great recipe for those who do.
That’s what the traditional “Jingles” cookie have as flavoring 🙂
I made them but needed some sugar can I add some in there
Keebler ruined them.
Trying out the recipe for the first time…hope they have that “Jingles” flavor. I eliminated the chilling, rolling and cutting steps by shaping the dough into balls and pressing each one flat with the bottom of a drinking glass. To keep the dough from sticking, dampen the bottom of the glass with a little water and dip it into granulated white sugar before pressing each ball. After pressing, decorate with the colored sugar before baking. This little hack saves time and you can press your cookies thinner than if you cut them.