Santa Cookies are made with a butter cookie recipe, cut into heart shapes with a cookie cutter, and decorated with royal icing. They are are simple cookie to make and look so adorable on a tray of Christmas cookies.
2-1/4 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
8 ounces butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 egg whites *
Red decorating sugar
To make the Cookies:
In a bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.
In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter and blend well. Add the flour mixture until well combined.
Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Grease or line baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness.
Using cookie cutters, cut the cookies and place them on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cookies color slightly. Transfer to wire racks to cool. You can serve them plain or add the icing when cookies are completely cooled.
To make the Icing:
Stir together the confectioners' sugar and egg whites until smooth.
*Use meringue powder if uncooked egg whites are a health concern.
To decorate the cookies:
Spread a little icing on the pointed end of the heart cookie. Sprinkle liberally with red decorating sugar; allow to set a few minutes and shake off excess.
Put the royal icing in a pastry bag with a small star tip. Pipe stars on the cookies to create the beard and hat details. Attach the M&M candies for the eyes and nose with a dab of the icing. Allow the icing to set until dry before storing.