Queen Esther 3D mini-crown cookies for Purim


You can add a touch of whimsy to your misloach manot with 3D Queen Esther cookies, an edible art activity that’s a joy to design, in part because to create the cookies, we turn kitchen throwaway items into baking tools.

Here is how the magic happens:

The heavy-duty cardboard cylinder from an empty roll of plastic wrap becomes a baking tube. The lid from a plastic yogurt container becomes an accordion shaped cookie cutter.  Best of all, this is a child-friendly food art activity — no sharp knives, or electric mixers are needed.

Decorating the cookies before baking eliminates waiting hours for icings to dry. Roll, cut, decorate, bake … and these sweet cookie crowns are ready for your mishloach manot.

What you need:

1 recipe Sweet Ring Cookie Dough

1 egg white

Assorted colored sugars or sprinkles

Silver dragée and/or mini-M&Ms for crown jewels

Heavy duty cardboard core tube(s) from plastic wrap or aluminum foil

(Empty 6-ounce tomato paste cans can be substituted for cardboard tubes)

Pliable plastic food lid, such as from a yogurt container

Sweet Ring Cookie Dough

Adapted from “Cooking alla Giudia: A Celebration of the Jewish Food of Italy by Benedetta Jasmine Guetta”


1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk (reserve egg white)

1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. orange zest

2 cups plus 1 Tbsp. flour


• Place egg, egg yolk, oil, sugar, vanilla, and orange zest in a bowl. Whisk or stir with a fork until all ingredients are thoroughly blended.

• Add 1/2 of the flour to the egg mixture and stir until flour is thoroughly incorporated.

• Add the remaining flour to the dough and knead until the dough is smooth.

This dough should be soft, but not tacky. If dough sticks to the work surface, knead in additional flour, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough can be lifted off your work surface without leaving any residue.  Divide the dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes before using.

Note: I also use this dough for hamantaschen


Preparing the baking tube and accordion cookie cutter

• Cut a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil that is 2-inch longer than the length of your tube.

• Place the tube on the foil so that there is a 1-inch border of foil at each end of the tube.

• Tightly wrap the foil around the tube. It is important that the entire tube is completely covered. Tuck the foil ends into the tube to secure the foil.

Lightly grease the baking tube with margarine or butter.

• Secure the baking tube to your baking sheet with a small piece of cookie dough placed at each end of the tube.  Set aside.

• To make the accordion cutter, cut a 4-inch x 1/2-inch strip from a pliable plastic lid. Use a ruler to mark off 1/2-inch intervals along the length of the strip. At each interval bend the strip to create accordion-like folds, as shown.

Rolling, Cutting and Decorating the Cookies

• Add 1 tsp. of water to reserved egg white and stir. Set aside.

• On a lightly floured work surface, roll cookie dough into a rectangle 1/8-inch thick or slightly thicker.

• Cut dough into strips 2-inch high x 3.5-inch long.

(Note: If you are using tomato paste cans, cut strips 2-inches x 4.5-inches)

• Use the accordion cutter to cut the crown’s top edge.

• Brush the cookie with the egg white.

• Gently press your jewels (mini-M& Ms or dragée) into the cookie.

• Sprinkle cookie with colored sugar and/or sprinkles. (image)

• Carefully lift the decorated cookie off your work surface and lay the cookie on top of the baking tube; gently molding the cookie to the tube.  The cookie will fit around 2/3 of the tube.  (image)

(Note: There is no need to worry about spacing the cookies on the tube, as there is minimal spread during baking.)


Bake in a pre-heated 350-degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before slipping cookie crowns off the tube. For an extra crunchy cookie, after you have turned the oven off, stand the baked cookies on a baking sheet and return to the oven. Leave the cookies in the oven until the oven is cold.

Deborah Bonelli, creator of Nosh Art Fun, is a pastry chef and award-winning sugar artist specializing in edible art for the Jewish holidays.  Website: For inquiries about classes, workshops or parties, email