Spiral Snail Cookies

Prep: 25 min. Bake: 15 min./batch + standing

about 7 dozen

Of all the Italian cookie recipes I make, this is my favorite. These sprinkle cookies take some time, but, believe me, they are well worth it! My husband and I used to operate an Italian American restaurant, and this recipe goes back generations. —Gloria Cracchiolo, Newburgh, New York

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Eat like the Harfoots, the ancestors of the Hobbits, with these cinnamon sugar cookies spiral snail cookies. Easily made without any special tools.

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There may not be any hobbits in the the new Rings of Power show, but their harfoot ancestors are! So for Hobbit Day, I am sharing a recipe for spiral snail cookies.

Snails are a staple of the harfoot diet but never fear, no snails were harmed in the making of these cookies, it’s just sugar cookie dough. Although, it would add some umami :-P.

In order to make them resemble snails, 3/4 of the dough has a bit of cocoa to darken it slightly for the shell (figured that was better than food coloring) and it all has a little cinnamon for overall deliciousness.

Once you let the dough balls chill, all you have to do is roll the dough into logs, spiral up on itself, and attach the heads. No cookie cutters or rolling pins required!

I had considered make antenna, and did test a few with almond slivers or chocolate, but ultimately decided they looked better in their simplest form. Besides, simpler means you could also enlist the help of any little harfoots you have running around your house.

Kids not into baking or don’t have kids (like me)? My coworkers LOVED these. Granted I do work with a bunch of nerdy scientists.

Originally this recipe was made to help promote the new show, by sharing a reel with how they were made. To be honest, reels are not my favorite, both as a viewer and as a content creator, but it was rewarding to work on something nerdy and fun! If you watched until the end you get to see me made up just like a harfoot.

Do you like snails? Have you ever eaten a sail before? I can honestly say I had never eaten a snail until I made these snail cookies. The thought of eating a snail was something really different for me, but these happy little snail cookies changed my mind. They’re cute, they’re fun, and they’re sugar cookies. What’s not to love?

Let’s make and eat some fun snail cookies.

Supply List:(may contain affiliate links)

  • Turquoise- AmeriColor
  • Pink- Tiny amount of AmeriColor Tulip Red
  • Bright White- AmeriColor
  • Black Royal Icing Outline Consistency for the dot in the eyes or you can use a 4mm Black Sugar Pearls at Country Kitchen Sweetart
  • Food safe marker
  • Turkey Lacer– You can use a Thingamaginie, 2 in One Tool, Scribe Tool, or a toothpick to help even out the royal icing and to help pop any and all air bubbles.
  • Paintbrush
  • Paper towel
  • Paint palette– You can also use a plate, paper plate, or anything that will hold the food gel color while you dip your brush.
  • Parchment paper

Make Some Happy Little Snail Cookies with Royal Icing Video

Enjoy the video!

Let’s Decorate

  • Draw the pattern on the snail cookie with a food-safe marker.
  • Mix your paint colors.
  • Outline the snail and the shell with the royal icing.
  • Flood the snail’s body and use a turkey lacer, scribe tool, or toothpick to pop any and all air bubbles.
  • Outline the shell and let this dry until the icing forms a crust.

  • Let’s add some splatter to that cute little snail cookie. Whatever food gel color you used to make the royal icing for the snail’s body, use it to add a little drop to a paper plate or paint palette.
  • Dip the brush in the water and tap it on a paper towel.
  • Next, dip the damp brush into the food-gel color and splatter the color on the cookie. If you need to see this in action watch the video. You’ll see how simple it is to achieve this speckled look.
  • As a bonus, you can see what this technique will do to your finger if you don’t wear a food-safe glove. That’s right. As you see in the second image above your finger will look very colorful for a while. UGH!
Let the Splattering BEGIN!
  • Splatter as much or as little as you want. It’s your snail! Just be careful. If you look at the snail with the tan body in the top photo you will see lines on its face. This happened because I didn’t wipe the tip of my paintbrush before I splattered it. It isn’t a bad thing, but the speckles look better than the unexpected lines. Don’t get me wrong, the cookie was consumed and there were no complaints.
  • Now it’s time to flood the sections of the shell. If you flood every other section and let it dry until it forms a crust they will look like separate sections on the cookie. If you don’t wait, the royal icing will all run together and look like one shape. I personally like the individual-looking sections better.

  • Once the first sections of the snail cookies have dried enough to form a crust flood the remaining sections.
  • Use a few pieces of parchment paper pieces to lay on the snail’s body.
  • Use a brush to splatter more food-gel color on the shell.
  • Add white royal icing dots to the shell. Add as many or as few as you’d like.
Add the eyes
  • Next, pipe one white eye. while the icing is wet you can add an edible black sugar pearl or you can add a drop of black royal icing.
  • Let it dry until it forms a crust. Repeat the process for the second eye.

  • It’s time for the last few steps. Add an outline around the snail’s body and shell.
  • Paint a smile with the food-gel color.
  • Pipe pink dots on the sides of the smile.
  • Add a nose if you want or you can skip this part.

Guess what? You’re all done! If you’re like me and have never eaten a sail you can eat one now and make it official! It’s not escargot, but it’s close enough.

I hope you enjoy making snail cookies part of your cookie world. I’m so happy I found this snail cookie cutter at Killer Zebra’s. She has some beautiful, fun, and unique cutters and stencils. If you have time you should go visit her site and tell her you’re going to eat a snail. Well, a snail cookie.

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  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • GLAZE:
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Colored sprinkles


3 Hours

10 Minutes
10 Minutes

20 grams fat

( voted )


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dark cocoa powder


  • Remove 1/4 of the dough and set aside. To the remainder, add the cocoa powder until incorporated. Form 12 balls of each down, wrap doughs in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • When ready, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
  • On a floured surface, using your fingers, roll the chocolate dough into 6-8 inch logs, then roll up into a spiral shape. Repeat with remaining  chocolate dough balls, and set aside.
  • With the smaller dough balls, roll into 3 inch logs, then attach to the base of the spiral to form the neck/head.
  • Place on prepared cookie sheets 1 inch apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until set but not yet turning golden on the bottom edges. Let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: Adapted from my Cut Out Sugar Cookies and Eggs.ca.

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For this cookie recipe, applying the sprinkles immediately after glazing helps them adhere as the glaze dries. For cookies that are unglazed, gently brush the cookies with a thin layer of water, milk, or lightly beaten egg white to provide a “glue” for the sprinkles. It will allow the sprinkles to stick to the cookies without affecting the overall taste.

Can you add sprinkles before baking?

Sprinkles can be added to your baked goods prior to baking, but some sprinkles may have properties which cause them to melt. Most coarse or sanding sugars hold up well and do not melt in the oven’s heat, while sprinkles made from a combination of sugars and starches are softer and may break down more easily when hot. Here’s how to make your own colored sugar.

What are Italian Easter cookies?

Research contributed by Mark Neufang, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

  • Roll dough into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12-14 minutes (tops of the cookies will not brown, but bottoms should brown slightly).
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, milk and extracts until smooth. As soon as cookies are removed from the oven, quickly dip 2 or 3 at a time into glaze. Remove with a slotted spoon or tongs; place on wire racks to drain. Immediately top with sprinkles. Let dry for 24 hours before storing in airtight containers.

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie: 87 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 13mg cholesterol, 49mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.

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