Jingle Bell Bites (Holiday Bites)

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These Jingle Bell holiday bites are miniature shortbread cookies with green and red nonpareils speckled throughout for fun festive cheer!

Jingle Bell Bites (Holiday Shortbread Bites)You saw these during Halloween, and now I’m introducing them again for Christmas.  Jingle Bell Bites!  It took me up until just five seconds ago to finally decide on what I would name these this time around.  I started with “HO! HO! Bites” to keep in line with the “BOO! Bites“, then I changed to “Jingle Bell Bites” but it just didn’t strike me as well, at first.

Next, came “Christmas Bites” but then I thought “Holiday Bites” fit the photo even more.  UPDATE:  So, I went with “Holiday Bites” and now back to “Jingle Bell Bites.” Ah, the life of a food blogger trying to figure out the perfect name when all I really want is to share a fantastic recipe idea with you!  Name it what you want!  😉

Jingle Bell Bites (Holiday Shortbread Bites)You should add this to your Christmas basket list because it makes quite a bit!  It’s a nice palette cleanser from the other very sweet things you may be including in your baskets, giving your gift recipients a little taste buds break!  They’re also super easy to whip up and hold up for days.  You can even freeze them!

Jingle Bell Bites (Holiday Shortbread Bites)So, tell me, what would you name them?

Jingle Bell Bites (Holiday Shortbread Bites)

Holiday Bites

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12-18 servings

Holiday Bites

These Jingle Bell holiday bites are miniature Christmas shortbread cookies with green and red nonpareils speckled throughout for fun festive cheer!

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (plus more to butter the pan)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons Christmas colored nonpareils

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8-inch pan, then line with parchment paper, pressing the sides and corners to stick.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar and extract at medium speed until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the flour and salt. Mix on low speed until a dough forms. It will be crumbly at first, but keep beating. Stir in the nonpareils until evenly distributed.

Transfer the dough to the lined pan and press evenly into the bottom. Use the parchment paper to lift the dough from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut the dough into 1/2-inch square pieces (a pizza cutter works well). Place the squares 1/2-inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet; discard parchment paper. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until bottoms just begin to brown.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Land O Lakes



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  1. They look lovely! Do you or any of your readers know if I could possibly directly substitute the AP flour with the gluten free AP flour blends (I use King Arthur GF AP)? Cookies made with GF flours are generally more crumbly but I’m wondering if these might hold up instead of become a pile of crumbs.

    I may try them anyway, but I just wanted to know if anyone else knew before I experiment.

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Hi Jennifer! Good question! I do not know the answer, but hoping another reader who does will pipe in! 🙂

      • Hi Nikki, these little bites look super cute! I love the colored sprinkles, very festive 🙂

        Jennifer – I eat and bake gluten free and have found that sometimes you can sub directly but you often need to add other ingredients or tweak it in some way to make it work. The main problem with simply subbing out the flour based on volume (cups) rather than weight is that 1 cup of wheat AP flour doesn’t weigh the same as a cup of gluten free flour, and to further complicate the issue your cup of gluten free flour blend will very likely vary in weight from my gluten free blend because the combination of flours contained in it is probably different, unless we happen to be using the same brand.

        King Arthurs All Purpose Baking Mix looks like it is the same weight as their wheat based AP flour, so I would try with that (rather than their A P flour for this recipe, which weighs more according to their website) it also has xanthan gum already added so that should stop if from turning into a pile of crumbs.

        That said, my attempts to change a regular recipe to gluten free don’t always work, but I’ve learned a lot by trial and error!

  2. I remember your boo bites! I pinned it and it’s still one of my most popular pins! Haha! I would call these jingle bell bites, but I bet they’re fabulous no matter what you call them! 🙂 Pinning!

  3. Love these! I have definitely got to make them because my husband is crazy for shortbread!

  4. I think Holiday Bites are the perfect name! So cute 🙂

  5. Delicious! I made these this afternoon for a school/division get together!

  6. These look so yummy! About how little squares does it make? I’m trying to make enough, about a handful of these per co worker I have, about 18 people. I’m making them holiday stockings with treats! 🙂

  7. Hi! I’m currently making these but they are turning out very crumbly and dry. What do you think I can add to stop this?

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Hi Jenna, The dough is very crumbly at first, but should come together after a couple minutes of mixing. If it just doesn’t come together, try adding another (very small) drop of extract or a little milk (a very very small amount should make a big difference). Hope this helps! Happy new year!

    • Mine did the same thing.. I need help

  8. Katelyn Twigg says:

    I made these and currently have them in the oven now. i followed the recipe but mine were crummy and i couldnt get them to stick together enough to roll them out or use a cookie cutter at all. i am wondering what i did wrong.

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Hi Katelyn,
      Sorry for the difficulties. How long did you let it mix. It is very crumbly but after you keep mixing it eventually comes together to form a dough. It takes a few minutes. If it still doesn’t come together, splash in a very tiny amount of milk and keep mixing.

      You do not use a rolling pin or cookie cutter with these. Instead, press the dough with your hands into the pan and then remove from the pan to cut into squares with a cookie cutter. 🙂 Hope this helps!

  9. Hey Nikki,

    These look fantastic! I was wondering if they can be frozen? I have lots of goodies to make for a cookie exchange at work so I’d like to get started soon!

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Hi Tracey!
      I think that would be fine, although I haven’t tested it to know for sure. 🙂

    • Did you try freezing them? I made these last Christmas and they were just incredible. I’d love to freeze some as well. I just don’t know if I should freeze the dough or the baked cookie. I usually freeze the dough and thaw before baking.

  10. My first batch was also very crumbly, they didn’t turn out so well. Today I doubled the recipe and added an extra 1/4 cup of butter and they turned out excellent !! I also used salted butter by mistake and it didn’t seem to hurt them at all. Melt in your mouth !!!

  11. they look good and very easy you could call them santa (s) snacks just a thought

  12. Would the size of the pan be 8″ X 8″? Which extract do you normally use, almond or vanilla? Do you keep mixing until it comes into a ball so it won’t be too crumbly? How many bits does one recipe make? How long would these keep?

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Hi Denise,
      Yes, 8×8-inch pan. I normally use vanilla, but have also used almond to switch it up. Yes, keep mixing until it comes into a ball and no longer crumbly. Keeps about 1 week. 🙂

  13. Hi i was wondering if these could be cut while raw and then baked in squares? Or if my 9×9 pan would work?

  14. Would a 9×9 pan work? Can they be cut raw and then baked?

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Hi Cassidy, I haven’t tried a 9×9 but it would turn out a thinner cookie and may require less baking time. I’m not sure I understand your second question? The recipe does state to cut raw and then bake… 🙂

  15. I’m unable to find Christmas colored nonpareils! Fresh out everywhere I go – I was able to scoop up red and green sugar sprinkles – do you think those would have the same effect?

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Oh, wow! Hmmmm… the sprinkles might melt more easily and spread in color. But, maybe you would end up with a neat tie-dye or stain glass effect?

  16. How many does this recipe make? I saw the 12-18 servings, but how many are in a serving?

  17. This recipe is HORIBLE it was crummy literally

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Hi Anonymous,
      I’m sorry you had problems. It sounds like you did not mix it long enough to get past the crumbly stage. You can add a drop of milk or vanilla if need be. I’ve made these countless times with great results. Maybe try again now that you had a first time to practice. 🙂

  18. Hi! I was so excited to make these to add to my Christmas cookie tins, however, I’ve been really disappointed with the way they are turning out. They taste delicious, it’s the presentation that’s disappointing. They do not hold their shape and I’m frustrated by what I could be doing wrong! I’ve baked them from frozen, and alternatively just straight from the refrigerator and in both cases they lose their shape. I’ve even adjusted my oven temperature and they still look like cookie blobs. They start out like perfect little squares as in your picture…

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Hi Jen,
      I’m sorry to hear you’re having problems! Are you at a higher altitude by any chance? Baking can vary in every kitchen, so there are also possibilities of humidity interfering, or oven temperature, different brand of ingredients, type of pan, parchment, etc. Are you using real butter, and not margarine or another alternative?

  19. Delicious! By no means is this a “horrible” recipe….if they came out wrong, try again because nikki, these are yummy! I actually added a heaping tsp full of peanut butter and a little extra flour and they are to die for. Thanks for the recipe!

  20. We did a test run on these for a before holiday treat idea. My kid’s couldn’t stop eating them. So delicious. This will be our new favorite bite sized cookie ☺

  21. Just made these and couldn’t wait until they cooled off! 🙂 So delicious! I’ve made them as a gift for my kid’s tutors! I’m not sure how many will make it out of my house if my husband tries them! Great treat!

  22. pretty pissed says:

    This shortbread recipe is rubbish and needs revision. I don’t know what enchanted mixer you’re using, but my dough never came together and from the looks of it neither did many other’s.
    There are better shortbread recipes out there. I just used my old tried and true and added the sprinkles. It worked fine.

    • I’m sorry you had trouble with this recipe. We use it all of the time and haven’t had issues. Others here have commented they’ve made this recipe with great results. If yours isn’t coming together, you can add more liquid just a few drops at a time. Please remember, too, it takes quite a while of mixing before the dough comes together.

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