Ho ho ho! St. Nick can drop in any time at all when you bake these cute-as-can-be treats. To create them, our kitchen staff followed a scrumptious cookie recipe from Jill Boruff of Soap Lake, Washington and formed Santas with heart-shaped cookie cutters.—Jill Boruff, Soap Lake, Washington
- 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups shortening
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 eggs
- 4-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Brown and red miniature M&M's
- 1 carton (12 ounces) whipped vanilla frosting
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- Red colored sugar
- Red jimmies
- 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 vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until easy to handle.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a 3-1/2-in. heart-shaped cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until firm (do not overbake). Remove to wire racks to cool.
- In a microwave melt semi-sweet chips on high for about 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth.
- Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert #2 round pastry tip. Add melted chocolate. For eyes, pipe two dots in the center of each cookie; attach brown M&M's. Pipe a small dot of chocolate below eyes; attach a red M&M for nose. Pipe eyelashes.
- In a small bowl, combine the frosting, butter and sugar. For hat, frost the top 1 in. of the pointed end of cookie. Sprinkle with red sugar. Frost the sides and rounded ends for beard. Place two jimmies for the mouth.
- Cut a hole in the corner of a small plastic or pastry bag; insert #16 star tip. Fill with remaining frosting. Pipe a zigzag boarder under hat for fur hatband. Pipe a pom-pom on top of hat. Yield: about 8 dozen.
Originally published as Santa Sugar Cookies in Country Woman July/August 2001, p19
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