A big batch of these catch-all cookies is just what Santa ordered.

By Zoe Denenberg
November 16, 2020
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Are you ready for a Christmas baking project that the adults will actually enjoy as much as the kids? Let us introduce you to Santa's Kitchen Sink Cookies. We especially love baking cookies with kids, because mixing up cookie dough is forgiving and relatively straightforward; plus, there are so many opportunities for the kids to really get involved. In fact, with Santa's Kitchen Sink Cookies, your kids can do most of the work. Even the youngest kids can help whip up a batch of these beauties.

Not only are these cookies easy and fun to make, but they're also ridiculously tasty. Luckily, one batch yields 3 dozen cookies, so there will be plenty to go around. Trust us when we say that these cookies are addictive: You may need to drop a plate off at your neighbor's door just to keep your family from finishing a whole batch in one night. But don't forget to save a plate for Santa!

Step 1: Prepare Your Mix-Ins

Santa's Kitchen Sink Cookies are chock full of goodies. We're talking red and green M&Ms, mini pretzel twists, chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows. Before you're ready to get baking, ask your kids to combine the mix-ins in a medium bowl. They can snap the pretzel twists into pieces and, if you aren't able to find Christmas-themed M&Ms, pick the green and red M&Ms out of the pack.

Remember that these cookies are meant to be adaptable, so if you're missing one of the mix-ins, feel free to get creative. You can add nuts, dried fruit, or even crushed Oreos or potato chips to these catch-all cookies. Make them however your family likes.

Step 2: Make Your Dough

Since this cookie dough recipe is quite straightforward, your kids can execute most of the process with your instructions. First, help your kids measure out the dry ingredients into a large bowl. This is a great opportunity to have a little math lesson! Then, ask your kids to whisk the dry ingredients together and set the bowl aside.

Ask them to add the butter and sugar into the stand mixer, then—while the butter and sugar cream—show them how to crack 2 eggs into a small bowl (be sure to watch and fish out any pieces of eggshell). Help them measure out 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract, which they can add directly into the mixer. While the mixer is still running, they can add the eggs one at a time, then gradually add in the dry ingredients that they've already whisked together. This is a great opportunity to teach patience: Each component should be added in gradually.

Now you'll want to remove the bowl from the stand mixer and proceed by hand; folding the mix-ins into the dough with a spatula keeps them from breaking apart. Pass the bowl to your kids and, making sure they have a good grip on the bowl and the spatula, add in a third of the mix-ins. Let the kids take turns gently mixing with the spatula, then progressively add the remaining mix-ins. You may need to do a final fold yourself to ensure that all the mix-ins are well-dispersed. Now's the hard part: Let the dough chill for at least an hour or overnight.

Step 3: Scoop and Bake

Once your dough has chilled and the kids have enjoyed a hot cocoa break, call them back into the kitchen to scoop the cookies. If you have a cookie scoop, this is the time to use it, but if not, you can simply use a spoon. Show your kids how to scoop around 3 tablespoons of dough and roll it into a ball in their hands. Once you get them started, they should be able to execute this task on their own.

Since you'll be baking in batches, have your kids start by scooping just 12 dough balls, arranging the balls 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet. While the first batch of cookies bakes, let the remaining dough chill in the fridge. Repeat twice with the remaining cookie dough (if your kids get restless, send them to play and scoop and bake off the next two batches yourself).

Step 4: Enjoy

Serve your Santa's Kitchen Sink Cookies with a glass of cold milk. This one is sure to be a winner with the kids (and the big man himself).