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Sugar Cookies for Santa

by Lori on December 23rd, 2011

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Leaving cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve is a long-standing tradition. These sugar cookies are sure to make you and Santa happy. They are easy to make and tasty.

Last Christmas, I learned that my then-seven-year-old niece no longer believes in Santa when my sister posted this on Facebook: “Follow up conversations about Santa. Amanda, “Was St. Nicholas real?” Me, “Yes, he was a bishop in 300AD.” Amanda, “So how old would he be now?” Me, “About 1730 years old.” Amanda, “Santa’s dead isn’t he?” Me, “Yes, yes he is.”

This sad post reminded me of the first time that I started to doubt Santa. I was about Amanda’s age. That fateful Christmas Eve, I had left cookies for Santa on the fireplace hearth before heading to bed. My mom told me to stay in bed that night, or Santa wouldn’t come. However, while I was in bed, Mother Nature called. I quickly dashed across the hall to the bathroom. On my way back to bed, I heard foot steps coming down the hall. I knew it had to be Santa!

The next morning, I told my dad that I had heard Santa coming down the hall the night before. I still remember the amused look on his face as he asked me, “Are you sure it was Santa?” That’s when I began to suspect that there was more to that Santa story.

About the recipe

This sugar cookie recipe is from my mother-in-law. She received it from Anna Lutton, who made these cookies for my mother-in-law’s bridal shower.

The play-by-play

Cream together sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla and milk
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Add flour, salt and baking soda, and mix well.
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Wrap in saran wrap and chill the dough in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
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Roll out the dough to the thickness you like.
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Cut into circles.
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Bake in a 350-375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.
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Cool on a wire rack for a few minutes, and then enjoy!
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Tips & Tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks that I learned from making this particular recipe:

  • Not for cut-outs. There are some sugar cookie recipes that are better for making Christmas cookie cut-outs. This is not one of these recipes. While it has all the flavor of an old-fashioned vanilla sugar cookie, it has a little trouble holding its shape. But then don’t we all around the holidays? :) These cookies are a soft and chewy. I’ve found the better shape-making cookies tend to be more crisp. For these particular cookies, keep it simple and stick with a basic round shape. That way when it “expands” in the oven, it will still be round.
  • Thaw, then roll. While you do need to chill the dough in the refrigerator before rolling, don’t leave it in there too long. I left mine in the fridge for a few days, so it was a bit like trying to roll out a brick at first. I had to let the dough thaw for a while at room temperature before I was able to get rolling.
  • Wax paper magic. Alton Brown has this trick of rolling out pie crusts between two sheets of wax paper. That way the dough doesn’t stick to your board or rolling pin. So I thought, why not use the same trick for rolling out cookie dough? It worked like magic!
  • Not best for freezing. I typically make my cookies well ahead of the holiday and freeze them. The best cookies I’ve found for freezing are the Triple Ginger Cookies on Allrecipes, but more on that recipe in another post. The bad news about these sugar cookies: They get a little dried out after freezing. The good news: Now you have an excuse for eating cookies immediately!
Recipe: Anna Lutton’s Sugar Cookies

Summary: My mother-in-law describes these cookies as simply, “the best”.

 Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder

 Instructions:

  1. Cream together the sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla and milk.
  2. Add to the mixture the flour, salt and baking soda. Mix well.
  3. Wrap the dough in saran wrap, and chill it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
  4. Roll the dough to the thickness you desire, and bake in a 350-375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.

Preparation time: 30 minutes to prepare dough; 2 hours to chill

Baking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2 dozen cookies

My rating ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

What kind of cookies did you leave for Santa?

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