Hanukkah Gelt Thumbprint Cookies

Hanukkah gelt thumbprint cookies recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  • Total: 7 hrs 29 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 7 hrs 14 mins
  • Yield: 24 to 28 cookies (24 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
132 Calories
7g Fat
14g Carbs
3g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24 to 28 cookies (24 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 132
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 38mg 13%
Sodium 99mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 3g
Calcium 23mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Want a Hanukkah dessert that doesn't involve deep-frying and jelly-filling yeast-raised dough? These chocolate gelt thumbprint cookies are proof that sufganiyot (jelly donuts) aren't the only festive dessert in town!

Oats and cinnamon enhance the easy-to-prepare cookie dough, which makes a delicious frame for the candy coins. When the holiday is over, you can use the same recipe to make traditional jam thumbprints, or even plain oat cookies.

Should you add the chocolate before or after you bake the cookies? The answer depends on the coins you choose. If your gelt has embossed images (say, of a chanukiyah), pressing the gelt onto the cookies after baking helps ensure the embossed pictures on the coins remain visible. That's especially true if you're using milk chocolate coins, which melt more quickly while baking. However, the cookies are a little more prone to crumbling if you add the chocolate after they're baked. Take care to add apply light, even pressure while pressing the gelt onto the cookies to prevent breaking the cookies or coins.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter (unsalted, or coconut oil, softened)
  • 1/3 cup neutral oil (such as canola, avocado, or grapeseed)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 24 to 28 pieces chocolate Hanukkah gelt (milk or dark chocolate coins, unwrapped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Hanukkah gelt thumbprint cookies
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

    Line a baking sheet
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. 

    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. In another large bowl, or using a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter or coconut oil.

    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Add the oil, egg, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.

    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Add the flour-oat mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well to fully incorporate the dry ingredients. 

    Flour and oat mixture
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Break off walnut-sized pieces of dough and roll them into balls between your hands. Flatten slightly into discs, and place on the prepared cookie sheets. 

    Put on baking tray
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the cookies are set, the surfaces are dry and the bottoms are slightly golden. 

    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  9. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool on their trays for 1 to 2 minutes. Gently press a piece of chocolate gelt into the top of each cookie. (Be careful not to press too hard, or the cookie will crumble. The chocolate will should adhere even if you press gently, as the warmth of the cookie will melt it slightly.)

    Add chocolate
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  10. Let the cookies cool for 1 to 2 minutes more, then use a spatula to transfer them to a rack to cool completely. 

    Dry cookies
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  11. Serve and enjoy!

    Hanukkah gelt thumbprint
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck