Are these not some of the most adorable cookies you have ever seen?! The second I saw them, I knew I had to find time to make them. They are not difficult at all, just a little time consuming. Instead of telling you how great they taste (Yes, I did try a decapitated one and it was good!), let's be real - these are all about looks! I'll just share some things that I learned while making them.
First, I doubled the recipe and got 33 Santas out of the recipe. I also doubled the frosting recipe, but one batch would have been plenty for all of the Santas. I might have to make more Santas to use the rest of my frosting now. It took me about 3 hours total, with lots of baby interruptions and toddler "help".
After mixing the dough, I tried making the entire Santa start to finish - rolling out the red pieces, then the white. I found that the red food coloring was starting to get on my hands and turning the white dough a little pink. That's when I decided I needed to roll all of the white balls first, then go back and do the red. I lined 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper and laid out the pieces for each body. Then, I went back and rolled the red balls to finish the assembly. After handling all of the dough so much, I decided I would chill my trays of cookies before baking. After all that time and work, I didn't want to take a chance that they would spread into a big blob as they baked. I think I chilled them for 15-30 minutes.
The only other suggestion I have that is different from the original source is to add the Red Hot at the very end - after you pipe the beard/hair. Otherwise, it kind of gets buried and doesn't look as cute. Next time I may use an M&M or Mini M&M. My Grandma used to make cookies and decorate them with Red Hots all the time, but I don't remember them being so hard to bite!
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 10 drops red food coloring (I used Americolor)
- 1 bag mini chocolate chips for eyes and buttons
- 1 bag Red Hots for Santa's nose
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/3 cup powder sugar
- 1 teaspoon milk
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
Beat the butter at room temperature on high for about 30 seconds or until light and fluffly
Add in the sugar and beat until combined. Then add in the milk and vanilla while the blender is still going.
Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the flour
Remove 1 cup of the dough and set aside. With the remaining dough, add in the red food coloring.
To create a Santa, make one 1-inch ball and five 1/2-inch balls from the red dough. From the plain dough, make a 3/4-inch ball and four 1/4 inch balls. You will have a body, head, hat, four red arms and four hands and a white ball for the top of the hat
On a non-stick cookie sheet, attach the Santa's by pushing the dough parts together. Add the chocolate chips for eyes and three buttons.
Bake the Santa's for 12-15 minutes and then let them cool for about 2 minutes.
To make the frosting for Santa's beard, beat the shortening and vanilla for about 30 seconds. Gradually add the powder sugar and enough milk to make the frosting piping consistency.
Spoon the frosting into a decorating pastry bag with a fun tip to create Santa's beard. Use the pastry bag to go around Santa's face, arms and legs.
Add the Red Hot nose to Santa's face.