Quilt Cookies




About: Hi, I'm Jen! In my free time I'm a crafter, food lover, and cake decorator. I also can't stop taking photographs! I have a genuine love and appreciation for all things creative and handmade.

These cookies are inspired by a glasswork technique called 'millefiori' which translates to a "thousand flowers" but I think the cookies look like little quilts. The glass technique involves creating rods with multicolored patterns that can only be seen at either end of the rod. The rod can be cut in cross sections, or beads, and keep the pattern throughout.

The possibilities are truly endless using this technique.

These will 'Wow!' almost anyone and make great gifts.

I hope you enjoy this Instructable and its 'mille' steps!

Step 1: Make the Dough

I mostly love this cookie recipe because it is a one bowl cookie dough! You will be kneading and mixing in food coloring so the dough will be well mixed without needing to sift the dry ingredients separately.

Icebox Sugar Cookie
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder

In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until combined. Add egg and vanilla mixing well. Sift flour on top of wet mixture and before stirring add the baking powder. When you start to combine the wet and dry ingredients, the flour and baking powder will incorporate well enough throughout the dough

Dump dough onto a piece of waxed paper and divide dough into six equal pieces. You can obviously use more or less colors but I chose six.

Step 2: Color the Dough

After dough is divided choose food coloring colors and mix into dough using your hands. I find that there is enough butter in the recipe that your hands don't take on the food coloring but you could use gloves if you want make sure you don't have rainbow hands when you are finished!

Step 3: Shape the Dough

Turn your imagination on high and start making your patterns. This is a relatively easy process but it does take some time and patience.

To make a bullseye shape:
1. Choose a color and form a cylinder.
2. Roll out another color large and long enough to wrap the cylinder.
3. Gently press or squeeze dough to make sure the pieces stick together well.
4. Keep wrapping with colors until you have the bullseye you want.
5. Roll the completed bullseye into a longer log shape.
6. Cut in half, thirds or as many as needed.

To make a flower shape:
1. Choose a color that will be the center of the flower and form a cylinder.
2. Roll out another color large and long enough to wrap the cylinder.
3. Gently press or squeeze dough to make sure the pieces stick together well.
4. Make a coil of dough and pinch the top to make a triangular shape. Repeat for amount of petals you want.
5. Stick the triangles on the sides of the covered cylinder.
6. Press another color of dough in between the triangles.
7. Wrap the entire cylinder again with an outer color.
8. Cut in half, thirds or as many as needed.

Those are the two basic techniques I used but be creative and make anything you want!

Step 4: Choose a Cookie Pattern

Once you have all of the patterns of dough made, arrange them together to get the final pattern that will be the finished cookie.

Roll patterns into longer logs if you want the pattern to be smaller in the final cookie. If necessary cut logs so they are all the same height.

Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until hard - 2 to 3 hours.

Step 5: Cut the Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove cookie dough from the freezer and slice in 1/4 inch pieces. Repeat with all of your patterns (if you have more than one).

Step 6: Bake the Cookies

Bake for 7-9 minutes depending on how soft or crisp you like your cookies. Remove cookies from oven and let cool on baking sheet.

Color will not fade while baking.

Step 7: The Final Cookies

Eat and enjoy! Yum!



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28 Discussions


1 year ago

I stumbled upon this recipe like five years ago and it is now an annual* cookie in my holiday goodie bags to teachers, receptionists, valets and so forth. The cookies are as delicious as they are beautiful.

*I say "annual" because I will not bake these cookies more than once a year. While the end result is worth the effort, these are an enormous messy pain to make and I am not a patient person. I recommend giving yourself a good chunk of time, preferably with as few children around as possible.


2 years ago

Looks Cool!


4 years ago on Step 7

Your cookies absolutely beautiful and inspirational. I tried this recipe today and my results didn't quite measure up, but I am not deterred! Thank you for the fun baking challenge.


4 years ago

I made it with my son. good activity to keep him sit still beside me :). the tough one is to have patience to make the pattern. after 2 pattern l feel soo tired haha...


5 years ago on Introduction

Wow, thank you for this tutorial! I tried making these but the dough would always break in my hands so it was pretty much impossible to do it. I added more flour but it didn't help. I'll try again later! Maybe it didn't work out because I used whole wheat flour? It's the only one I had.

2 replies

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

I'm sorry to hear they didn't turn out. When I rolled my dough it was at room temp. I did only use white flour.


Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

It's ok! It's a wonderful idea, I'll definitely try again soon ;-) Thanks!


5 years ago on Introduction

These are really cool, so I tried making them. The dough stuck to my hands a lot, so I put it in my freezer before adding the dye. That helped, but there was only a small range where the dough was soft enough to work with but cold enough to not stick to my hands. I ended up making the colorful dough into little balls then mashing them all into a cylinder, so I had a partial success. I might try this again when it is cold outside and I can try doing it there.

1 reply

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

I have made these kinds of cookies in the summer and winter without having them stick. You could try adding a bit more flour to help with the sticking. I rolled all of my pieces with the dough at room temperature. Let me know if you try again and with what outcome. Sorry it didn't work out. Bummer!

Absolutely stunning! The work that goes into these is crazy but the results are well worth it. I have a friend who frequently bakes for charity auctions and I'm sharing your instructable with her. I know that these would go for a pretty penny. Gorgeous work!


These look really fun and super cute, too bad were snowed in and the rest of my family is on adkins. ):


7 years ago on Introduction

Lovely, lovely lovely. I knew this tecnique from my pottery books, but never thought about using it for cookies.

Thank you for sharing. those are simply gorgeous :)


Reply 7 years ago on Step 5

I just used a really sharp knife but I have heard that you can cut icebox cookies with thread or dental floss. I find that the knife works well and seems like it would be the most consistent for thickness. You can also let the dough sit out for a while before slicing, however, you risk it getting too soft and squishing your pattern when cutting.