★★★★★

Homemade Jingles Cookies

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!

Stack of jingle cookies on parchment paper.

What Are Jingles?

Jingles are shortbread cookies flavored with pure anise extract and a touch of nutmeg. They show up in stores around November, sprinkled with red and green for the season!

I love nibbling on them with a mid-morning cup of coffee or as a quick dessert when I’m all baked out.

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!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make jingles cookies including anise extract.
  • 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.

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make jingles anise cookies.

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!
Stack of jingles cookies broken in half.

Recipe FAQs

I don’t have anise extract. Can I substitute something else?

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!

Do shortbread cookies freeze well?

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!

Can you make these without chilling the dough?

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.)

Anise cookies with red and green sprinkles on parchment paper baking sheet.
Yield: 40-50 cookies

Homemade Jingles Cookies

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Jingles Cookies: sweet shortbread cookies with anise extract. You'll love these melt in your mouth Christmas cookies!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ tsp pure anise extract
  • red/green sugar crystal sprinkles

Instructions

  1. In mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar until combined. Add in flour, salt, nutmeg and anise extract. Mixture will be crumbly, use hands to form a ball. Lay on saran wrap and roll into a log shape. Wrap up tightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut slices of cookies ¼ inch thick and lay on baking sheet. Sprinkle with red/green sugar. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 13-15 minutes. Cool completely and store in air tight container. ENJOY!

Notes

  • Other options for cookies include scooping dough into 2Tbsp balls, rolling, pressing with the bottom of a glass, then sprinkling with sugars. Bake for 15 minutes (makes about 24 cookies).
  • Or you can press into a 14x10-inch rectangle and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cut into slices or squares immediately after removing from oven, then cool and enjoy.
  • Add more or less anise extract for your preference. I usually add closer to 2 tsp anise, but some people enjoy just a hint, at 1 tsp.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

50

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 56Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 12mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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.

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on December 22, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. Very close to Jingles! Taste is there for sure! Do you think if we made them thinner they’d be better?
    Thanks for sharing

  2. 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?

    1. Make sure to measure your flour correctly. Don’t “Scoop” the flour. Spoon it into the measuring cup, makes a difference!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.  

  6. 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.

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