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! Or try our Coconut Macaroons…we even dipped the bottoms in chocolate!

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 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!

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.

Homemade Jingles Cookies

4.83 from 34 votes
By: Aimee
Jingles Cookies: sweet shortbread cookies with anise extract. You'll love these melt in your mouth Christmas cookies!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 40 cookies

Ingredients 

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

Instructions 

  • 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.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut slices of cookies 1/4 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 14×10-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

Calories: 70kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 9mg, Sugar: 2g
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

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.



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About Aimee

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

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on December 22, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. I thought I was the only one who missed the original Jingle Cookie! I loved the Anise flavor & the ones now days aren’t the same. Thanks for the recipe, I can’t wait to try it. sooo excited!

    1. ENjoy the recipe. My family LOVES these. And you can always adapt the amount of anise you use…more if you like them strong (I actually add a little extra to mine nowadays).

  2. Pretty close to Salerno’s!!!Love them. I used my cookie press. Will definitely make again, I’ll add a bit more anise. Thanks again!!!

  3. I never tried Keebler’s but I used to LOVE Salerno’s Jingles! I’m going to try this one and I hope it tastes like Salerno’s because I miss them. It was a holiday tradition to buy them each Christmas.

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this recipe! Jingles used to be my absolute favorite boxed holiday cookies, but over the pas few years, they have definitely changed the recipe to include less of the delicious anise flavor. I can’t wait to test these out this holiday season (or this weekend)!

  5. Once we burn off our current supply of Christmas cookies, I’ll have to try this recipe. As a kid, I remember getting the BIG box of Jingles from (of all places) a butcher shop in Hamilton, OH. A box the size of “Party-sized potato chips” just packed full with Jingles. I always liked the ornament and bell shaped cookies the best, because they were the biggest! Not much better than a big glass of milk and a huge box of Jingles. They were so good, we never even thought of spreading peanut butter on them! Now THAT’s a good cookie!
    Thanks and God Bless!

  6. Thank you for this Jingles recipe! I agree with you that the original Jingles seem to have gone by the wayside… Can’t wait to try your recipe! TFS!
    Hugs,
    Georgia

    1. You are welcome!!! ENJOY! Let me know what you think if you try it, if I got it pretty close to the original. Blessings!

  7. I used to love those Jingle Cookies too. But I don’t know if they’ve changed or my tastes have and they taste really processed and not very yummy. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  8. I don’t think I’ve ever had those Jingles cookies, but who cares about that store brand anyway? Your version looks WAY better! Yummy, Aimee!

  9. hahahaha Aimee I laughed out loud … “crickets….” haha I loved that. I’ve never had a jingle before! I don’t think? Maybe I have. Regardless, your cookies look incredible and you bet I adore those festive sprinkles. I love shortbread cookies and your two recent versions have me hankering to bake them. 🙂

    1. Seriously, I think you all live under rocks. Haha!!! I can’t even tell you how many Jingle boxes I have bought over the years….it’s crazy. They’re like Girl Scout cookies, you stock up cause they are only available this time of year! Anyways, I think you better try making some soon 🙂

  10. I bet these are much better than the original Jingle cookies! Definitely will need to try these soon!

  11. I haven’t had the Jingles cookies but I do love a good shortbread cookie. It’s sad, many of my favorite “store bought” cookies just aren’t the same as they used to be. I’ll have to give these a try.

  12. I have actually never had a Jingle cookie either. Now I never need to wonder what they taste like because yours I’m sure are waaaaaaay better:-)

  13. I looooove these! They are gorgeous! I’ve never had jingles. I’ll just make yours instead. 🙂

    1. Oh my word….how have you never had Jingles??? I seriously eat boxes and boxes of them every Christmas 🙂

  14. This is one cookie I’ve never tried! Now I don’t need to – I can just use your recipe 🙂

  15. Um. These totally just made my day! I LOVE Jingles! I’ll have to see if I can find some anise extract…

    Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

    1. I hope you find the extract!!! My grocery store carries it with all the other flavors, I hope yours does too!

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