Cookie baking can't get any more fun than when you are making—and decorating—these adorable Santa cookies. They are also really good to eat. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup thawed orange juice concentrate
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons water
- 4-1/2 teaspoons meringue powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Red and black paste food coloring
- In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in orange juice concentrate and vanilla.
- Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or until easy to handle.
- Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a 4-in. star-shaped cookie cutter dipped in flour. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 7-8 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool.
- In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, water, meringue powder and cream of tartar; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Tint 9 tablespoons red and 2 tablespoons black. Leave remaining icing white. Keep unused icing covered at all times with a damp cloth. If necessary, beat again on high speed to restore texture.
- Place red icing in a pastry bag. With a #3 round pastry tip, pipe Santa's hats, noses and suits. Use black icing for eyes, mittens, belts and boots. With white frosting and a #16 star tip, add the hat trim, mustaches and beards. With a round tip, add the suit trim. Yield: about 6 dozen.
Originally published as Santa Star Cookies in Christmas Cookies & Candies 2008 2008, p19
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