As I write this blog post, I’m being the most #basic version of myself that I have ever been. I’m listening to Christmas music with Hallmark playing on the TV in the background. I don’t think there is any other way to enjoy Christmas when your child is at school and the husband is at work, and you’re all alone. Trust me, when you’re married with a six-year-old boy, Hallmark is SO uncool, so I take every chance I can get to enjoy this channel ALL by myself.
It’s easily said that Christmas is a favorite holiday for all ages and generations. I love this time of year, and as I’ve grown older I’ve grown to love this holiday even more. Of course, when you’re younger it is all about getting presents and candy and Santa, which is only part of the holiday magic. As you grow you learn that the holiday magic does not come from the things, but the memories you make and the time you spend with one another. One of my favorite Christmas traditions that I have started in my household is baking and decorating cookies. I started the tradition two years ago with my son. It was a hard time in our lives. Oliver and I relied on each other during this valley in our lives. Making cookies just seemed like the right thing to do to cheer our spirits up, and it did. I remember singing Jingle Bells and making a huge mess out of our kitchen. In that exact moment, making cookies and singing with my then pre-schooler made my dark day ten million times brighter.
Back in 2015, I was still a new mom, so baking came strictly from a recipe. I followed it to a T and did not stray in fear that I would screw up the entire recipe. Now, two years later, I’m a seasoned mom and a seasoned baker. Baking has always been an interest of mine. It started with boxed cake mixes, then I moved to following recipes, to now, baking with my heart. Baking with the heart does run as a trial and error process, but when you get that perfect recipe, you’re filled with the utmost pride.
This recipe I am sharing with you is the one I used this year for my cookies, and yes, it came from the heart, and yes, you can make these cookies because I promise they are no-fail cookies! All I’m sayin’ is that if you want Santa to be hella impressed with you this year, make these cookies because Santa’s cookies went up a whole notha’ level.
Unlike the typical “recipe” blog, I don’t have step by step photos, which is also a good thing because you get straight to what you need and how to do it! You can make these with or without chocolate chips. What we did is divided the batter so we had half sugar cookies and half chocolate chip cookies. If you don’t want chocolate chips, just eliminate that part of the recipe.
Santa’s Cookies with Cream Cheese Icing:
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (this is “safe” measurement, I usually do a dash more of vanilla.)
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Dash of nutmeg (For you precision people, use about 1/4 a teaspoon)
- Dash of cinnamon (Again, for you precision people, use about 1/4 of a teaspoon.)
- 3 cups all-purpose baking flour (Again, this is the “safe” way to do it. If you have cake flour, which I loveeeeeeeee, use two cups all-purpose baking flour and a cup of cake flour. Cake flour tends to be pricey, so don’t sweat it if you can’t use it!)
- 1/2 of cup chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cream together the butter and the sugar. Do this until it’s smooth.
- Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
- In a different bowl, combine the flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and baking powder and mix.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time and mix until smooth.
- **For chocolate chip cookies, divide the dough in half or use the entire dough and mix in your chocolate chips! If using the entire dough for chocolate chip cookies, add about 1/4 a cup more of chocolate chips. If dividing your dough, separate your dough, and place the plain dough in a separate mixing bowl.
- Prepare your cookie station by sprinkling flour on your counter.
- Flour your hands and transfer the dough to your cookie station.
- Knead the dough until it is a good consistency.
- Flash freeze your dough for about thirty seconds to a minute in Saran wrap. This helps your cookies keep their shape when you cut them and bake them.
- After flash freezing your dough, place it on a four sprinkled surface and use a flour-sprinkled roller to roll your cookies out to about 1/4 of an inch thick. If you like your cookies thicker, like me, roll them out to about 1/2 an inch.
- Dip your cutters in flour and cut away!
- Bake for about 8-9 minutes. **You DO NOT want your cookies to come out hard. You want them a little soft because they will naturally harden as they cool.
- Then, let them cool as you prepare the icing.
Santa’s Cookies Icing:
- A block of cream cheese
- 1/4 of a teaspoon of vanilla extract (Again, I use about a 1/4 then add a SMALL dash more.)
- About 3-4 cups of powdered sugar.
- **THE KEY TO ICING IS TASTING AS YOU ADD IN THE POWDERED SUGAR. Add or subtract the amount of powdered sugar to your taste.
Santa’s Cookies Icing Directions:
- This is so precise it’s silly. Just kidding, that is sarcasm. Throw those babies in your mixer and mix until smooth! REMEMBER TO TASTE!
Now, you are set to ice them and decorate them as you please. Use sprinkles, use food coloring to make the icing pop, use chocolate chips, use M&Ms, the ideas are endless. Forget perfectionism. Make them unique. Don’t mind the mess. Enjoy the moment. Dig into your own creativity! These make great teacher presents and friend presents. My son and I wrapped these cookies in Saran wrap and used twine and a tag with a thoughtful note and gave them to teachers and friends! We will be making these for Santa on Christmas Eve, and I hope you will, too!
Making cookies is such a simple thing to do to spend time with your loved ones. I encourage you to make this recipe your own, and laugh and sing carols while making these.
Happy Holidays, ya’ll.