Spread The Love This Christmas With This Easy Kinako Cookie Recipe

Christmas Cookies, Japanese Style

By Anisa Kazemi
December 16, 2018
Food & Drink, Recipes

Fill the Christmas air with this sweet cookie aroma!

For the first time in my 26 years of existence, I am actually genuinely feeling the festive side of Christmas. No, I’m not the Grinch in disguise, I was simply born in Iran where the birth of Christ wasn’t typically celebrated. That is, until we arrived in New Zealand and witnessed everyone becoming super excited over a day which we knew nothing about and I always felt left out. When everyone was decorating trees, baking gingerbread houses and making Christmas cards I was, well, not doing that. In fact, I think over 13 Christmases have come and gone where my family simply treated it as a public holiday where all the shops were inconveniently shut. But when my sister married a Kiwi – who celebrated Christmas – my family too finally started somewhat celebrating the holiday.

Looking back at my Christmas history, my favorite year yet would have to be the one I spent in Japan. This is because it was a white Christmas (Christmas is in the summertime in New Zealand) and it was spent with my Japanese friends and my dear sister and brother-in-law who came to visit. If I had to choose one thing I like about the Christmas season it’s the giving and receiving (of love) tradition.

So without further ado, here is a simple and wholesome kinako cookie recipe for you to share with your friends, colleagues and loved ones this festive season. 


(Makes about 12 kinako cookies. Double or triple the ingredients to make more.) 

  • 70g regular cake flour
  • 20g brown sugar
  • 10g kinako
  • 20g olive oil
  • 5g vanilla essence  
  • A pinch of salt


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Either roll out the dough onto a floured bench (not too thin) and use cookie cutters to cut out your desired cookie shapes or using wet hands make balls from the dough then lightly press down.
  3. Place cookies on a lined tray.  
  4. Bake cookies in a toaster oven at 600 degrees for about 7-9 minutes or until crispy and golden.

P.S. for a bit of variety, feel free to add sesame seeds and/or dried fruit like raisins to the cookie mixture.

This recipe is: Dairy-free, Vegan

Using this recipe? Share your photos with us via Facebook or Instagram with a hashtag #savvytokyorecipe

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