Santa’s Favorite Cookie

Santa's Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe

I remember when my mom got this recipe from our neighbor, Mrs. Rogers back in my youth.  The way I remember them being made was that they were always rolled in white granulated sugar.  They called them Sugar Cookies and they were one of my favorite cookies during the holidays when I was a kid.

When we got married and Mark and I started our own family, there were certain traditions I wanted to continue from when I was a little girl and hopefully pass along to our 2 boys.  These cookies were one of the things I needed to fondly rekindle my happy Christmas memories from when I was little.  I am happy to report that our boys (now grown) feel exactly the same way about these cookies.  Christmas just isn’t the same without these festive little sugar cookies and we have some great memories attached to them.

Some of our favorite times spent eating them was Christmas at the zoo when the boys were little.  We’d bundle everybody up, hop in the car and go to the Brookfield or Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago along with a thermos of hot chocolate and a bunch of candy canes.  There is just something magical about walking amongst all the white twinkling lights, visiting the animals and munching on these tasty cookies.   Warms my heart just thinking about those times.

Or there are the times (many of them) that we’d grab a blanket, a tin of these cookies and more hot chocolate, jump in the car and drive around the different communities in our area looking at all the Christmas lights and decorations.  With Christmas music gently playing on the car radio, we were safe, warm and blessed to be together.  These cookies bring back that same feeling each and every year.

And of course I can’t forget the most important part these cookies have played throughout our history as a family.  These were the cookies that were always left out for Santa along with a big glass of milk.  Santa never disappointed and always finished them off leaving only a few crumbs behind. 

Being an animal loving family that we are, we always fed Santa’s reindeer too.  On Christmas eve we’d toss apple and carrot chunks up on the roof  for them to munch on while Santa was busy leaving presents under our tree.  On Christmas morning, our boys would run down to the tree, then check the plate to see if Santa had liked the treats we’d left for him and then head outside to see if the reindeer had enjoyed their snack of carrots and apples.  Those reindeer never failed to bring delight to our two small boys.  Wouldn’t you know, those apples and carrots were always gone by morning 🙂 

Here is the recipe for these tasty treats if you’d like to add them to your families collection of cookies:


1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup shortening (I use butter flavor Crisco)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
red and greed decorating sugars to roll your cookies in.

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-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.
-Using a teaspoon, take out and roll dough into balls about the size of a walnut.
-Drop balls into colored sugars and roll them to coat entire ball with sugar alternating colors as desired.
-Place them on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 8-12 minutes.
-Cool and eat.

Santa's Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe

Thanks for allowing me to take a walk down memory lane (twinkling lights included).  Happy Holidays!!!

Sending you warm holiday wishes.

Until we bake again,


  1. Hello-

    I am a new baker-can butter be used rather than the shortening? And would you say that this recipe will make about 60 cookies?

  2. That's a good question. I've never tried this recipe with butter before (I've stuck with tradition and not messed with this) but I'll bet it would work fine. I'd love to know how they turn out if you try it. Let me know.

  3. Beautiful post! Sounds like your boys have an amazing Mama. 🙂

  4. So pretty! And I'm sure the kids as well as the adults love to devour them. 😉

  5. Everything looks so festive! The cookies, the house, the mood. I love it!

  6. Oh Renee, I so enjoyed reading about your family traditions with these cookies. Such a lovely post and such a lovely cookie. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  7. They look so beautiful!!! And I am assuming utterly delicious. 🙂 Great job!

  8. I'm sure these cookies taste as good as they look! Love the sparkle! Your house looks so festive too!

  9. This is probably one of the best posts I've ever read! I loved it. I could taste these cookies and the hot chocolate as I walked through the zoo with you. I may take your cookie tradition and make it one of my own with my Little Butt. I'll bet she would love to help me roll these through the red and green sugar. Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. I love it when recipes bring back memories. I think it's great that you've passed down such neat traditions to your children. I'm sure they'll always treasure them. By the way, I'm holding a giveaway on my blog for Orglamix Organic makeup and you're welcome to come by and enter.

  11. Beautiful family story! I don't know if is the time of the year or if I'm really a very sensitive person but I had water in my eyes while reading your post! I think you are a very good writer and have beautiful stories to tell!
    Love the recipe! And the tradition!
    Have a good week!

  12. I'm glad to have touched a chord with many of you about this post. I never know how my writing will sound to others but I'm glad to hear that it translates well.

  13. I love sugar cookies! The sugar cookies out of my step-dad's huge "Great American Cookbook" were the first cookies I baked on my own without any adult supervision and I still have a special fondness for them. For some reason that recipe called for refrigerating the dough for an hour but I don't always see that in sugar cookie recipes. It did make them extra soft.

  14. Using butter will make the cookies flatter, I imagine, as the melting point for butter is lower. Also, I doubt you will get 60 cookies with about 4-ish cups of dough unless you make your balls smaller to begin with.

    Looks like a nice recipe though, and I love the memories you talked about. So many of my own memories are tied to food

  15. Such Christmassy colours! Thanks for linking this in as well. Have a good one