Swirl Cookies

It is very traditional to have iced sugar cookies at Chanukah. It’s even more special when Bubbe makes them (my step-mother, Phyllis is a master at these cookies). But, it’s also nice to have a variety of other cookies to go along with the pretty dreidles, menorahs, and Jewish stars that she makes.

Last year, I included a recipe for Marbleized Iced Sugar Cookies as an alternative to highly decorated (aka time-consuming) piped cookies. This year, I’ve gone for the swirl!

Swirl Cookies
Swirl Cookies
Swirl Cookies

You start with a sugar cookie batter and divide it into three pieces. Two of the pieces get tinted to whatever color you choose (I opted for royal and sky blues). After some time-out in the refrigerator, each piece gets rolled out into a rectangle (mine doesn’t look like a rectangle, but I cut it into one to facilitate the recipe). The layers get stacked and then rolled into logs. More time out, then cut them into slices, and bake.

Swirl Cookies

It’s a bit of a process because of the refrigerator time, but look at how cute they are! And, they are very delish! 

Feel free to tint them red & green for Christmas, red, white and blue for July 4th, yellow, pink and green for Easter, orange & purple for Halloween…the combinations are only as limited as your imagination.

Swirl Cookies

Swirl Cookies

Makes: 24 cookies

Prep Time: 3 hours Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes


3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Royal Blue food coloring

Sky Blue food coloring

Sanding sugar for decorating

Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes on medium-high speed). Add egg, vanilla extract and almond extract; mix on low speed until well combined.

Add flour, baking powder and salt; mix on low speed until well combined.

Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Place 1 piece back in mixer bowl and add several drops of royal blue food gel; mix until color is uniform throughout dough. Repeat process using another piece of dough and the sky blue food gel. (Note: The 3rd piece of dough does not get colored.)

Press each piece of dough into 4” squares and cover each piece individually with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove one piece of dough and place between 2 sheets of wax paper. Roll dough into a 9”x12” rectangle. Repeat process with the remaining 2 pieces of dough. Refrigerate dough (still between sheets of wax paper) for 30 more minutes.

Remove all 3 pieces of dough from refrigerator. Peel top layer of wax paper off each piece and discard. Flip the piece of plain dough on top of the royal blue dough; remove wax paper. Flip the piece of sky blue dough on top of the plain dough; remove wax paper.

Cut the stacked dough crosswise to create (2) 4.5”x12” stacks of dough. Roll each of the stacks into a tight log lengthwise. Place on parchment-lined sheet pan and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a serrated knife, slice each log into 1/4” rounds. Place each round onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle tops of cookies generously with sanding sugar. (Note: If dough is too soft, refrigerate for another 30 minutes.)

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies just begin to turn brown. Let cookies cool on pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks until completely cooled.

Chef’s Notes:

Use food coloring gels rather than liquid.

Any colors can be used to create different holiday cookies (ie red/green or red/white/blue)

Recipe by Spiced Blog


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