Chanukah Sugar Cookies

Chanukah means many things: candles, latkes, presents, etc. But if you’re in my family it also means sugar cookies. As far back as I can remember we’ve been making sugar cookies for Chanukah, proven by the fact that this recipe is printed on stationary that says it’s from “the kitchen of the Dinosaurs”.

The Dinosaurs was the name of the preschool class my mom used to teach when my brother and I were little kids at the same school. She loved to bake (it’s in my blood) and loved to do baking activities with the kids. This is the first recipe I think of when I think about the kitchen of the Dinosaurs, but a close second is soft pretzels shaped like your initials. Delicious AND educational! You may be seeing that on here soon.

As for the nonpareils, I have no idea why we use them. It’s not a Jewish thing. It’s just what we do.

Please don’t hold it against me that I’m posted this after Chanukah has ended. Final are coming up. You understand.

Chanukah Sugar Cookies


  • ¾ stick of butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 c flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Nonpareils or other sprinkles for decorating


Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Bend in oil, egg, vanilla and orange juice. Sift dry ingredients together then blend into wet ingredients. Split dough into two disks and wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour or overnight if you can.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°. Roll out chilled dough to about ¼ inch thick. Sprinkle liberally with nonpareils then gently press into dough with a rolling pin. Cut out into whatever shapes you like then place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Gather scraps into a ball then roll and cut out again. Cookies spread slightly, so be sure to leave a little room between them. Bake 6-8 minutes and watch closely. When cookies just barely start to brown on the edges, they’re done.

Makes about 2 dozen depending on shape and size.


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