Christmas cookies are always a favorite with Southern Living readers, so it is little wonder that this recipe for Basic Butter Cookie Dough became a holiday favorite. Ellender Mills of Raleigh, North Carolina, sent in this recipe, which ran in December, 1995, and described how she divided the dough into quarters, adding different flavorings, frostings, and garnishes to each quarter to create a wonderful assortment of Christmas cookies. The basic recipe alone bakes up a delicious batch of cookies, but with this fun variation for Easy Santa Cookies, you are sure to create a treat even Old Saint Nick can't resist. Make one batch of Basic Butter Cookie Dough and divide it into fourths, using one fourth of the dough for each separate cookie recipe. This recipe uses one fourth of the Basic Butter Cookie Dough recipe, so you can freeze the remaining portions for more cookie variations. The whole family will love the festive decorated cookies, and the kids can even lend a hand. Spreading the frosting is the most particular task, but it's okay to just wing it a little—it is the holidays after all, and you have plenty on your plate!

Ellender Mills


Credit: Southern Living

Recipe Summary test

2 1/2 dozen


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Shape Basic Butter Cookie Dough into 1-inch balls, and place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Dip a flat-bottomed glass into sugar, and flatten balls to 1/4-inch thickness.

  • Bake at 350˚ for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

  • Spread red frosting on top portion of the cookie to resemble a hat; spread white frosting on lower portion of the cookie to resemble a beard. Attach 2 chocolate morsels and 1 cinnamon candy with a small amount of frosting to resemble eyes and a nose. Gently press coconut into the white frosting. Press a marshmallow onto red frosting to resemble a tassel on the hat.