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mendhi inspired spice cookies

i love these mendhi-inspired spiced cookies! they’re so pretty i almost wouldn’t want to eat them though…

the story behind these cookies is really cute too – they’re from the blog sprinkle bakes, and the blogger made them for a friend who was going through a rough time.  she wanted to make something with a personal touch, so she decorated the cookies with mendhi designs – something she and her friend had always been really interested in.  plus, the designs themselves have meanings so you can pick a design symbolic of peace or luck as an added touch.

if you happen to have a hand shaped cookie cutter, that’s great, but i think it’s even cooler that you can trace your own hand :)

after rolling the dough a little thinner, lay the template on the dough and cut around it with a sharp knife. transfer hands to parchment lined cookie sheet.  with the back of your knife make lines between the fingers, being careful not to cut all the way through (so they don’t break off).


after baking the cookies (instructions below), you’re ready for embellishment!  use a fine-tipped artist’s brush and a little brown/black gel food coloring.


template story


3 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
½ cup molasses
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract


– blend ingredients together in large bowl, using electric mixer.  gather dough into ball, divide in half. form each half into a ball and flatten into a disk.

– preheat oven to 350 degrees

– line baking sheets with parchment paper

– roll out dough between two sheets of waxed paper to about ¼ inch thickness.  cut out cookies and transfer to baking sheets, spacing one inch apart

– bake one sheet at a time until cookies are firm on top and slightly darker around edges, taking up to 12 minutes.  cool completely on rack.




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Lulu -March 7, 2010, 5:57PM

ah those are so amazing!!!! i’m definitely going to (try to) make them! =]

Amalia -March 7, 2010, 6:11PM

Those are the most beautiful cookies I have ever seen! I’m in love.

tanya -March 8, 2010, 10:30AM

This is just plain awesome \m/ I hope they taste as good as they look too haha. :D

Shini -March 8, 2010, 5:49PM

These look too good to be eaten! Such a great idea nonetheless :D

codyrachel -March 8, 2010, 8:08PM

I love these cookies & the feeling of peace just looking at them – plus the peace felt while decorating them-
beautiful – codyrachel

Nicole -March 16, 2010, 12:47AM

These are lovely! A very very cute idea.

sundeep -March 22, 2010, 8:30PM

Oh My! Fabulous! I must feature your great post on my blog! These are great … too bad I’m not very good at baking!

Mary Ellen -November 21, 2010, 1:53PM

Thanks for this! The cookies look great. I surfed in looking for a spice cookie that was cut out in shapes (rather than dropped), and the mendhi theme doesn’t work for the occasion I have in mind, but they look SO impressive I’m going to have to try that when I get a chance. (I’m only going to have autumn leaf shapes and such — comparatively boring.) Thanks for the recipe and the ideas —

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Mindy -April 26, 2012, 3:05PM

These are gorgeous! I love your idea. One of these days maybe I’ll make em. I would pipe on the “mendhi” with icing rather than paint it, though. The henna is applied in a cone very similar to icing. If you are already good w/ henna, it should go quickly. If you are not, it’s good practice!

Phanie -August 22, 2012, 5:31PM

i am so happy to have found this! i’m helping to decorate for a bride-to-be’s henna party tonight and this could not be any more perfect a treat to include! thank you!

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