Santa Cookies

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Santa Cookies are flavorful and sweet with soft interiors and slightly crisp edges. Bonus: these cookies are easy to make — you’ll only need one bowl and a spoon — no mixer required!

This recipe makes a small batch of cookies, perfect for Christmas Eve — and especially perfect for Santa! If you’re looking for an even-smaller batch, try one of these recipes: single serve chocolate cookie or single serve oatmeal cookie!

Overhead image of several Santa Cookies, surrounded by red and green candies.

At our home, Santa is a bit picky about cookies. The kids know that every year that we’ll be dedicating some priority time on Christmas Eve to make cookies for Santa and some reindeer chow for the reindeer. Because the hubs and I (errr…I mean Santa) need some serious fuel for wrapping presents and getting everything ready for Christmas!

How to make Santa Cookies

  1. Melt the butter and allow it to cool to room temperature. This is very important for avoiding greasy, flat cookies.
  2. Stir in the two sugars until smooth.
  3. We show the consistency of butter and sugars here.
  4. Add in the egg and vanilla; use a room-temperature egg for rest results (how to get an egg to room temperature quickly)
  5. Use the secret ingredient for ultra-soft, chewy, and mega-flavorful cookies: maple syrup. We’re talking about honest-to-goodness pure maple syrup, not maple-flavored pancake syrup.
  6. Add in the syrup and stir to combine.
  7. Mix in the baking agents — baking soda and baking powder. Add salt (helps balance sweetness and intensifies flavors) and another secret ingredient: cornstarch also contributes to soft and chewy cookies.
  8. Add in flour, making sure to spoon and level the flour to avoid adding too much. Scooping from the container packs too much flour into the measuring cup.
  9. And then fold in the chocolate chips and festive Christmas M&M’s.
  10. Chill the dough for at least an hour.
  11. This picture shows the size and shape of the dough. It’s important to roll tall cylinders instead of round balls to get the classic chewy center and slightly crisp edges (as the dough bakes, the bottom will bake slightly longer than the center).
  12. Look at the finished product: baked Santa cookies!

Overhead image of completed Santa Cookies.

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Santa Cookies

5 from 1 vote
Santa Cookies are flavorful and sweet with soft interiors and slightly crisp edges. Bonus: these cookies are easy to make -- you'll only need one bowl and a spoon -- no mixer required!
Print Recipe

Santa Cookies

5 from 1 vote
Santa Cookies are flavorful and sweet with soft interiors and slightly crisp edges. Bonus: these cookies are easy to make -- you'll only need one bowl and a spoon -- no mixer required!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword santa cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 16 large cookies
Calories 236kcal
Cost $4.50

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (102g) light brown sugar packed
  • 1/3 cup (96g) white sugar
  • 1 large egg (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt (reduce if using table salt or if sensitive to salt)
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (225g) white all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup good quality milk chocolate chips (or semi-sweet or dark chocolate -- whichever is your favorite)
  • 1/2 cup Christmas M&Ms

Instructions

  • BUTTER: Melt the butter in a very large, microwave-safe bowl. Once melted, refrigerate it for 3-5 minutes or until it's a room temperature. The butter can't be hot when you add in the sugars or it will melt the sugar and make the cookies greasy.
  • WET INGREDIENTS: Once butter is cooled to room temperature, stir in the light brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Stir again until smooth.
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: Add in the cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Again, stir until smooth. Add in the correctly measured (See Note 1) flour and mix until just combined. Don't over-mix. Add in the chocolate chips and M&M's. Gently stir until combined.
  • CHILL: Tightly cover the bowl and chill for 1 hour.
  • OVEN: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a pan with parchment paper or nonstick liner.
  • SHAPE BALLS: Roll balls of dough into tall cylinders (see picture #11 above for shape and size). Place 6-8 cookie balls on a sheet, allowing plenty of room to spread. Dough balls should be about 1.7 ounces if you have a food scale (or the batch should make about 16 total cookies).
  • BAKE: Bake for 8-12 minutes erring on the side of under-baking to keep them soft and chewy. The cookies will firm up a little more out of the oven, so take them out as soon as the edges start to lightly brown and the top is no longer wet looking.
  • MAKE 'EM PRETTY (OPTIONAL): Press a few extra chocolate chips or M&M's onto the tops of the cookies as soon as you remove from the oven. Allow cookies to cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
  • STORAGE: We like these cookies best on day 1 and 2 of being made. They do last up to 1 week, but they begin to lose texture and flavor quality. To store, place in an airtight container and keep at room temperature. Wait until cookies are completely cooled before adding to the container.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Flour is the most important measurement in this recipe. If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour you'll be packing in way too much flour--which will yield cake-y and less flavorful cookies. Spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level the top with the back of a table knife. See a visual of this here. Even better? Weigh your ingredients on a food scale!

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 236kcal

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Nutrition facts in Santa cookies

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