Kiddush Cookies

Plate of Kiddush cookies
Embellish these soft, buttery cookies with rainbow sprinkles, melted chocolate, powdered sugar, or all three.D.J. Costantino

According to The 100 Most Jewish Foods author Alanna Newhouse, anyone who's frequented an American synagogue in the past half-century is familiar with kiddush cookies—a motley crew of sweet, pasty mounds, dabbed with chocolate or colored sprinkles—served after Saturday-morning services. This superlative version is cakey, moist, and can be made up to 5 days in advance.

This recipe is adapted from The 100 Most Jewish Foods by Alana Newhouse (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2019.

Equipment

Kiddush Cookies
Whether they’re served after Saturday-morning services or as an everyday treat, these moist, cakey cookies are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
Yield: makes 36
Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 34 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 23 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 12 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 14 tsp. pure almond extract
  • Rainbow sprinkles
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • Confectioner’s sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and almond extract. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture. Beat to combine, increasing the speed of the mixer to medium once most of the flour mixture has been incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  3. Transfer the dough to a spritz cookie press and pipe cookies out onto two ungreased, unlined baking sheets, using two squeezes of the cookie press trigger per cookie and spacing the cookies 1 inch apart. (Alternatively, transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch fluted tip and pipe into 1½-inch rounds or 2-inch shells, using about 1 tablespoon per cookie.) Sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles or leave the cookies plain so you can dip them in chocolate after they’re baked (or do a mix of both).
  4. Bake until lightly browned around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on the sheet for 1 to 2 minutes, then use an offset spatula to carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  5. To dip in chocolate, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water), or microwave the chocolate in 30- second increments, stirring after each, until it has melted. Dip the cookies halfway into the melted chocolate, scrape off any excess chocolate from the bottom, and transfer to a plate. (Alternatively, dip one side of a cookie in chocolate, and sandwich with a second cookie.) Top with sprinkles, if desired. Let the chocolate harden. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.