These are complicated cookies, taking hours to make properly once you get all of the steps done, but it’s hours you spend with your family and friends, laughing and enjoying yourselves.
My mom remembers making these cookies with her grandmother every year, and I remember making them with my mom every year. The cookie cutter itself is passed down from my great-grandma. There are two of them. One is cracked and was lovingly glued back together; the other is in mostly good shape.
After I got married and took over the cookie-making duties, I found a website making imitations of the Santa cookie cutter. I ordered 4 of them. It was a huge deal to me.
Now I make them with my kids, cookie ingredients stuffed in the cheeks and all (this is from a few years ago). I look forward to this time every year. We clear the counters completely and start making cookies and decorating them. It’s a blast.
Santa Cookie Recipe
This is the original recipe. It is much taped together and very carefully preserved from my great-grandma. The original even includes tips of where to buy the supplies and a special offer: If you mail her 17 cents, she will mail you certain supplies. Reading it makes me happy, so without further ado, I give you the Santa Cookie recipe.
1 c. shortening
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1.5 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. baking soda (which can be left out)
- Mix all of this together first, then blend in 4.5 cups flour.
- Refrigerate about a half hour.
- Then roll out the dough and start cutting out cookies. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.
**If you want to get Santa’s eyes baked in beforehand, put those in place before baking them. I use chocolate chips; my mom always used a raisin cut in half for the perfect shape.
Decorating Santa Cookies
- With red food dye and a small paint brush, paint the tongue.
- Mix red food dye and egg whites (well beaten).
- Paint his cheeks, nose, and lips.
- Then paint his hat, and sprinkle red sugar on them.
- Now beat more egg whites and add powdered sugar until it’s fairly thick. (Choose the consistency you like. My mom always liked a ridiculously stiff frosting.)
- Using a paint brush, paint his eyebrows, mustache, curly bit from his hat, and puff ball from his hat.
- Now comes my favorite part.
- Cover the beard in frosting and then dip it all in coconut! If you’re feeling very ambitious or, like me, really like coconut, then dip all of that frosted area in coconut.
- Now wait a few minutes for the frosting to set, and you have a deliciously yummy treat.