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Egg Kichel (Jewish Bow Tie Cookies)

Remember these? The light, airy, and crunchy sugar dusted cookies shaped like bow ties ever-present at your local synagogues' morning kiddush? Kichel immediately remind me of growing up, my grandparents, the old country -- all of it, all at once.

These cookies used to be found at every Jewish bakery in America, but I haven't seen them in years, even on my trips back to the states. That's why I decided to take a trip down memory lane and make my very own. I used my favorite Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil and lots of egg yolks for the perfect cookie. Your kids will love helping you shape them as much as they will love eating them. Kichel also store well in an airtight container for weeks. Food historian Gil Marks, Z'L, says kichel was brought to the New World in storage tins by immigrants fearful that they would have trouble finding kosher provisions on their journeys. (Kinda reminds me of my grandmother a"h schlepping chicken soup in a Tupperware on the plane when traveling to Boston for my Uncle's graduation from Harvard.)

Kichel means cookie in Yiddish and although they are coated in sugar, they're not that sweet, making them the perfect complement to a cup of hot tea or coffee. (Leave off the sugar coating if kichel + herring is your jam!)

Kichel Horizontal1
  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 36 cookiesServings


For dough:

  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, such as Colavita
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  •  3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For coating:

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar, divided


  1.  For dough: Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix oil, eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt together, using a hand mixer, or by hand in large bowl until combined. Slowly add 1 cup of flour at a time, mixing well after each addition until a smooth dough forms, about 15 minutes.
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is no longer sticky, about 2 to 3 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap or an inverted bowl and allow to rest until dough is supple, about 30 minutes.
  3. For coating: Sprinkle 1 1⁄2 cups sugar evenly over work surface and roll dough out into a 1⁄4-inch-thick rectangle. Top evenly with remaining sugar. Cut dough into 1- x 2-inch rectangles using a sharp knife or pizza cutter. Twist each strip to form a bow tie shape. Place onto prepared baking sheets, 1-inch apart.
  4. Bake cookies, 1 rimmed baking sheet at a time, until edges are lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool completely before serving. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to serve.