Santa’s Favorite Cookie — Secret Recipe Club

by Dorothy Reinhold on November 28, 2011

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One of the pleasures of the Secret Recipe Club is that you get to meet – in our virtual world – many different people by way of their blogs. They’re all good cooks, of course, but lots of them have other talents on display, as well.

Renee of Kudos Kitchen by Renee has a hand-painted custom tile and glassware business, and peppers her site with beautiful examples of her work. Think trivets, coasters, wall hangings, personalized wine glasses, etc. Or how about a tile featuring one of our own signature recipes? You can see some examples in her portfolio or her Etsy shop.

But once I was assigned to explore her blog, it was her Santa’s Favorite Christmas cookies that drew me in, with a charming story about how her mom got this recipe from a neighbor. She recalls them fondly, as her favorites from her youth. When she started her own family, she knew this was a family tradition she wanted to continue, and so she made them with her own two boys. They have happy memories of snacking on these while spending Christmas at the zoo or driving around town looking at Christmas lights and decorations. Of course, these were always the cookies they left out for Santa, too.

In return, the only thing Santa ever left on the plate was crumbs.

Recipe: Santa’s Favorite Cookie

Summary: A crispy sugar cookie rolled in colored sugar decorations makes a lovely treat for Santa.


  • Santa's Favorite Cookie1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter flavor Crisco
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt (note from Dorothy: I decreased this to ¼ teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract (note from Dorothy: I added this)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • red and green decorating sugars


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the sugars and shortening together in a large bowl. Add the egg and mix to combine. Add the remainder of the ingredients (except the decorating sugars) to form a soft and slightly sticky dough.
  3. Using a teaspoon, take out and roll dough into balls about the size of a walnut.
  4. Drop balls into colored sugars and roll them to coat entire ball with sugar. Place them on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 8-12 minutes.
  5. Makes 45 cookies.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 45

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

Santa's Favorite Cookie

Renee, it was nice to meet you! Merry Christmas to you and yours, and Happy Holidays to all the Secret Recipe Club participants!

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Margie December 11, 2011 at 8:51 am

Made a double-vanilla batch yesterday with vanilla extract and seeds from vanilla bean… Good sugar cookie with nice crispy texture!


Dorothy December 21, 2011 at 6:20 am

Glad they worked for you. Love your vanilla idea!


Suzanne December 10, 2011 at 10:45 am

Wow, these ALL look just beautiful. I am not home at the moment, but the minute I get there the baking starts! These will definitely be on the list and lots of fun for the grandkids! Great SRC pick!!


Angie @ Bigbearswife December 10, 2011 at 9:38 am

ooo those do look like they would be come a favorite!


Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers December 10, 2011 at 8:49 am

You know what I love about this recipe? You don’t have to decorate the cookies! I lose my patience doing that! Rolling them in sugar before baking, thats a great idea!!


Dorothy December 11, 2011 at 2:58 am

Agreed! Rolling in sugar makes it much easier!


nicole @ I am a Honey Bee December 2, 2011 at 9:16 am

awww such a cute story about these cookies. Can’t wait to have some kiddos to have fun traditions and cookies for santa then


Cindy November 30, 2011 at 11:03 am


I am hosting a Holiday Cookie Recipe swap and would love to get the word out to other bloggers to post and share their recipe. I do get good traffic on my site so it would mean traffic for others.

I would love it if you could share the idea with you blogger friends.


Gitte November 29, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Beautiful cookies, Santa will be very pleased 🙂


Dorothy November 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Gitte, Jamie, Avril,

How sweet! Thank you!


Jamie November 29, 2011 at 11:42 am

What a wonderful color display your baking platter will have this year. Looks wonderful!


Avril November 29, 2011 at 11:34 am

It is so fun to think that soon baking will be the constant activity at my house – these cookies are definitely on my list to make! 🙂


Rituparna November 29, 2011 at 12:28 am

Oh my Santa is gonna be so happy with these. Extra good gifts for you this year. Family traditions are always fun to take forward & share. SRC gives us such a huge variety of experiences.


Christine November 28, 2011 at 10:10 pm

I never would have thought to dip the cookies in sprinkles instead of sprinkling them on! They look very pretty!


Kathleen November 28, 2011 at 7:30 pm

These look wonderful!


Kate @ Food Babbles November 28, 2011 at 7:04 pm

New to your blog and love what I’m seeing. I’m also in SRC Group D. I love your choice of recipe for this month! Great for the upcoming holidays.


Katie @ Epicurean Mom November 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Oh, I love the addition of the almond extract!! I’ll have to try that! These look great Dorothy!


Dorothy November 29, 2011 at 9:42 am

Thanks! I do love my almond extract!


bakingaddict November 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm

These look so lovely and festive! I’m sure Santa will love them 🙂


Renee - Kudos Kitchen November 28, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Dorothy you did an amazing job with this recipe. I can’t believe (and really appreciate) how you relayed my stories and even told about my paintings. Thank you so much! I love how you added the almond extract (I can’t believe I’ve never done that) and bravo for cutting back on the salt. The picture of your completed plate is just so pretty. So nice to have met you through SRC too!


Dorothy November 29, 2011 at 9:42 am

Thanks for coming over to have a look-see! I am glad you liked what I did with your cookies. (I’m never certain if someone will take offense with my tinkering, or what.)
I usually put almond extract in anything that I can, because I love it so.
Nice to meet you through SRC!


Jenna @ Newlyweds November 28, 2011 at 10:55 am

What beautiful cookies, I am saving this recipe I think it will be perfect for my holiday baking.


Jenni November 28, 2011 at 8:37 am

These cookies are indeed beautiful, and I am sure they are a favorite of Santa’s!


Tami November 28, 2011 at 8:34 am

I know a couple of elves who would love to find a plate of cookies like this when they get home from school. 😉

Your cookies look so pretty! I like how you added the little bit of almond flavoring to your cookies. I usually add a pinch of nutmeg to my sugar cookies.


Erin @ Making Memories November 28, 2011 at 7:54 am

What a festive looking cookie! Great pic!


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