The best way to get everything on your list under the tree? Leave cookies out for Santa, of course. The best way to get even more gifts than you asked for under the tree? Leave cookies out for Santa that pay homage to his legendary looks!

These Easy Santa Cookies come from a recipe we’ve had around for more than 20 years, and it’s no wonder why we keep making them. Brought to us by Ellender Mills of Raleigh, North Carolina, and printed in the December, 1995 issue of Southern Living, these Easy Santa Cookies are the sweetest holiday treat. Not only would Santa love to find them on Christmas Eve, but these cookies are an adorable treat for school Christmas parties and teacher, neighbor, or hostess gifts for the holidays. These cookies will also make for an easily portable option to have on your dessert table after Christmas dinner.

These cookies start with our Basic Butter Cookie Dough, which is a great base for any sugar-cookie decorating ideas or opportunities. To make the dough, start by mixing butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and eggs with a mixer. A standing mixer is easiest for this dough, but if you have little helpers in the kitchen, a hand-mixer will work, too. Next, alternate adding flour and milk before adding vanilla extract last. Form your cookie dough segments, press them with the floured bottom of a glass for the best icing surface, and bake at 350˚ for 10 minutes. Now, it’s icing time! You’ll need red gel icing for Santa’s hat and nose, white gel icing for Santa’s beard, black frosting for his eyes, a miniature marshmallow for the tip of his hat, and some flaked coconut to really make that beard believable. A fair warning: Santa might come back to your house after Christmas for more cookies once he sees this flattery.

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