You and your children will have a "ball" rolling out the dough to form these whimsical, jolly little Santa cookies!
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon red paste food coloring*
36 miniature chocolate chips
1 tube purchases white decorator frosting
- Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Using a mixer, beat butter until fluffy. Add sugar; beat until well combined. Beat in milk and vanilla extract. Beat in flour. If you are not using a heavy duty mixer, it will be necessary to beat in the last of the flour by hand. Remove one cup of dough and set aside.
- Beat food coloring into remaining dough to make a bright red tone.
- Form the plain and red doughs into 12 balls each. With red dough, separate each ball into one 1-inch ball and five 1/2-inch balls. With plain dough, separate each of the balls into one 3/4-inch ball and four 1/4-inch balls.
- Shape the Santas: Slightly flatten the 1-inch red ball on an ungreased cookie sheet. This is Santa's "body". Place plain 3/4-inch ball on top of red ball for head; flatten slightly. Attach the four red 1/2-inch balls for arms and legs. Attach the last red ball as a cap on top of Santa's head. Reshape cap slightly to form a triangle. Attach the four 1/4-inch plain balls for Santa's hands and feet. Lightly press the balls against each other so they hold together. Add miniature chocolate chips to face for eyes and nose.
- Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and leave cookies on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Remove to racks to cool.
- Using star tip, squeeze the decorator frosting to form a mustache and beard on Santa's face. Also, form a ball at the tip of his cap and rim at the bottom of his hat.
Makes about 2 to 2 1/2 dozen.
*You may use traditional red liquid food coloring, but it will take a larger amount to achieve the same vibrant color.
Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.