Fun Holiday Spiral Cookies

The holidays are a great time to have fun in the kitchen.

Whether you are celebrating Hanukkah or Christmas, or any other holiday, you can make all kinds of festive treats for your family, friends, and guests, to enjoy at your holiday dinner table, to send as a gift or even to decorate your home. Decorated cookies are one of my favourite things to make for the holidays.

For holiday seasons past,  my staple cookies were always gingerbread or sugar- always a big cookie cut out in classic shapes like menorahs, dreidels and stars of David for Hanukkah, and candy canes, trees, snowmen, gingerbread men and snowflakes for Christmas. But this year I wanted to try something different. Rather than adding decorations to the cookies, I wanted cookies that were decorative and festive right out of the oven.

I scoured Pinterest for eye-catching holidays cookies and stumbled upon spiral cookies.

These cookies are made by rolling plain sugar cookie dough with a coloured sugar cookie dough into a log, rolling in sprinkles and then slicing into rounds.

They are wonderfully decorative just as they are, and require no additional fuss. And best of all, you can make them with any colour you like.

They start with a basic sugar cookie dough. The following recipe normally yields 2 dozen large cookies. To make these spiral cookies, you will have to make 2 batches of this dough; 1 plain and 1 with the colour of your choice. Your total yield will be just over 4 dozen 2″ cookies.  If you don’t need need that amount, you can divide the recipe in half.

You can make the dough a day in advance, then roll and bake them the day of of your party. If you are pressed for time, you could even make these cookies a few days in advance and keep them in a cookie tin.

Sugar Cookies:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

2.5 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

*For the Coloured Sugar Cookies:

Wilton gel food colouring


Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream your butter and sugar until light in colour. Add your eggs 1 at a time. *For the coloured cookies, add your food colouring with your second egg, just before whipping.  Whip until very fluffy about 2 minutes. Add your dry ingredients all at one.

Wrap your dough in saran wrap and refrigerate for 1.5 hours minimum, or until firm.

Wrapped dough, ready to chill. Photo by Jennifer Maliniak

Wrapped dough, ready to chill. Photo by Jennifer Maliniak

When the dough is firm, prepare a piece of parchment paper to use as a surface. Dust the paper  and your rolling pin with flour.Don’t be shy to be generous on the flour because this is soft dough and you don’t want it to stick to your pin.

Divide your dough in 2. Roll  each half of the dough to about 1/2 cm thick and into a 8×11 rectangle (approx). Keep your dough rectangle in the fridge while you roll out the other pieces.

1/2 cm thick rolled dough. Photo by Jennifer Maliniak

1/2 cm thick rolled dough. Photo by Jennifer Maliniak

Rolled dough. Photo by Jennifer Maliniak

Rolled dough. Photo by Jennifer Maliniak

Repeat this process for the coloured dough as well. You may need even more flour when working with your coloured dough- the addition of the food colouring softens the dough somewhat and you way need to add some flour before rolling. If you find that even after chilling, the dough is slightly sticky, knead it slightly with a bit of flour before you begin rolling.

Take one sheet of the plain dough, and brush the surface lightly with water. You just want to dampen the dough so as to make the coloured dough stick. Don’t soak it. Cover the plain dough with the coloured dough. Trim the eadges to make them even. Begin rolling the dough from the long edge closest to you.

Rolling your dough. Photo by Jennifer Maliniak

Rolling your dough. Photo by Jennifer Maliniak

Cookie Log. Photo by Jennifer Maliniak

Cookie Log. Photo by Jennifer Maliniak

Refrigerate the cookie logs until slightly firmed, about 15 minutes. At this time you can preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

When firm, divide each log in two for easier handling. Brush the surface lightly with milk or water. Roll each log in coloured sugar or sprinkles of your choice. Covered in Sugar

Slice 1/2 cm cookies, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies for 4 minutes, rotate, and then for an additional 4 minutes.You can store them in a tin or airtight container.They will last at least 1 week or more.

Slicing our cookies. Photo by Jennifer Maliniak

Slicing our cookies. Photo by Jennifer Maliniak

These cookies are ideal to send as gifts. They have long shelf-lives and are fairly sturdy- they will not break or crumble in transportation. Try wrapping them individually or in small groups in clear cellophane bags. You can even personalize them by tying them with name tags.

These cookies are great because you make a large amount of them in one shot, and even better, make them well in advance.

Get into the spirit of the holidays in your kitchen and make these cookies.


Happy Holidays, and happy baking!

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