Santa and Elf Christmas Cookies
The kids will be jumping for joy when you bring out a cookie plate filled with Santas and his helper elves. These whimsical treats will be a hit with adults, too. The butter cookies are easy to shape and a delight to decorate. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Total TimePrep: 4-1/2 hours + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + standing
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- ROYAL ICING:
- 1 package (2 pounds) confectioners' sugar
- 8 teaspoons meringue powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup water
- Food coloring of your choice
- 36 miniature marshmallows
- Assorted sprinkles and pearl dragees
- In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and extracts. Combine the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
- Divide dough into thirds. Shape each into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes or until easy to handle.
- For Santas: On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough into a 10-in. circle. Turn a pie plate upside down over circle and cut around the edge with a knife; reserve scraps. Cut into eight wedges.
- Place wedges 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Fold the tip of each wedge down. Tuck a scrap piece of dough (about a 1/2-in. ball) under the upper part of fold.
- For elves: Roll another portion of dough into a 10-in. circle. Cut in half; cut one-half into four wedges and the other half into eight wedges. Repeat forming Santas with the large wedges. Transfer small wedges to a baking sheet; fold tips down, forming hats.
- Roll the remaining portion of dough into a 10-in. circle. Cut into 16 wedges. Transfer to baking sheets; fold tips down.
- Bake at 350° for 10-13 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- To decorate: In a large bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, meringue powder and cream of tartar; add water. Beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
- Tint icing with colors of your choice. (Keep unused icing covered at all times with a damp cloth. If necessary, beat again on high speed to restore texture.) Working with one cookie at a time, decorate with icing, attach a marshmallow to the tip of hat and finish with sprinkles and dragees as desired. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container.
Originally published as Santa Christmas Cookies in Taste of Home Christmas Annual 2012
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