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!
Table of Contents
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.
I’ve seen them in the stores but i’ve never tried them, being a baker I usually make cookies when I’m craving them so I can’t compare these to the store bought ones but you had me at nutmeg and Anise so I just HAD to try them. OMG these are delish! I Loved them! I can see where others might like more anise and i love anise and more wouldn’t be a bad thing but as is this cookie is perfect! I’m adding this recipe to my Christmas cookie rotation. Thank You!
Absolutely yummy! I had never heard of these cookies. I used this extra special anise extract I get from an Italian grocery. I had been looking for a recipe using this because it smells incredible. I am certainly enjoying these. Thanks so much for the recipe.
This is awesome! The combination of flavors sounds like a great authentic taste. I love everything about this recipe, need to try this!
These did NOT turn out for me. The mixture was incredibly crumbly. It didn’t hold its form putting it into a ball (rolling into a log was impossible) or even after 40 minutes in the fridge. I cut it, and it would immediately crumble. Tried cooking the broken bits, and the anise flavor is not what I remember of the Jingle cookies. Just not the recipe for me.
I’m so glad you reshared this recipe. My husband has wanted these cookies and we have hunted the stores for them with no luck. Now I can make them for him instead! Thank you!!
you can get these at christmas time in Buffalo, NY They are called Santa’s favorites now!
I love these cookies, thank you!!! 🙂
Salerno made a version of these too called Santa’s Favorites.
I am searching the internet for a picture of the original “Jingles” Box..no luck so far…has there been a consensus of former Jingles consoiers being appreciative of your attempt to duplicate Jingles…?
Gene …Palatine, I’ll
My husband was appreciative of my effort to make his favorite cookies – thank you for that. It means Christmas too him. BHowever, he sheepishly smiled with a little sad lilt and said they were “close.” I looked at the ingredients on the Salreno box to compare ingredients – typical substitution of some part of the sugar with high fructose corn syrup, butter with oil that you see in commercial products. But they use soy lecithin and baking powder. How do you think either of these might affect your recipe?
This seriously made my day! I have the best memories of eating jingles with my dad every Christmas growing up. Now every year he buys a box then regrets it because they don’t taste the same and are so much smaller than they used to be. This year I’m going to make these for him!!!! I can’t wait
These are always on my tray—we love them and this recipe is perfect
I just made this but my dough was not crumbly. I followed the directions so I don’t know what went wrong.
Have you tried them as a rolled out dough with cookie cutters?
I will use more anise extract in my next batch, but I really appreciate this great recipe.
Thank you so much for posting this! I love Jingles as a kid. One year I noticed that they didn’t have the same flavor not realizing the company had changed hands (blaming it on pregnancy taste buds!). Fortunately, I was in Rural King the other day buying spices and found anise extract (2 fl.) for under $1!!! (I love Rural King, as most spices and extracts are this inexpensive. I found your recipe and made MAGIC.
So happy to hear it!! Glad you found me 🙂
Oh my goodness, I love jingles and have not seen them here in AZ. I love to dip them in hot tea! Will be making these for sure!
Enjoy!! They are fantastic 🙂
I made these as a Christmas gift for an uncle who I knew loved Jingles, and he was delighted. I’ve been looking for a good Jingles recipe for a while, and I think I’ve found the winner! Thanks so much! The only thing I wondered — how big around are these cookies when you make them? I only got about 20 cookies, so I must not have rolled them small enough 🙂
I would call them two-bites 🙂 Small like the originals, and thin. Thanks so much for letting me know you enjoyed them 🙂
To be honest, as someone who grew up with Jingles.. This recipe doesnt taste like how I remember them. Jingles aren’t as buttery. But after a couple of these bad boys, I think they may be better. I’ll still be on the search for a Jingles duplicate though.
Um…where is the anise? For true Jingles you need anise.
It’s in the recipe 🙂
can I make and freeze ahead of time
I have been looking for Jingles cookies everywhere for the past 2 years because these are my absolute favorite cookies. I could not find them anywhere & Christmas is not the same without Jingles cookies. I posted on Facebook asking for help to find these cookies but instead I found out that they have been discontinued. So in short, today i will learn to bake (I can but I just stink at it) and will make these cookies! Thank you so much!
You can do this!!! They are so easy to make, and I’m pretty sure you will love them 🙂