1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
41/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
Needed for decorating: chocolate chips ( cut in half), red sugar, red food coloring, one egg white, a small paint brush, and royal icing ( recipe follows)
Royal Frosting recipe:
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3 cups powdered sugar
Beat all together for 5 minutes or until mixture holds it’s shape
Cream together the shortening, sugar, eggs, salt, vanilla, and baking soda. Add flour and mix. Shape dough into an oval roll and wrap in wax paper or place in a plastic bag. Chill at least two hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flour work area and rolling pin. Take out a quarter or less of dough and keep the rest chilled. Roll dough out to 1/4 to 3/8 inch thickness. Flour the Santa cookie cutter, place cutter on dough, and press down firmly. With a spatula, lift cutter and dough. Then, gently press dough into the design of the cutter. SLAP cutter down onto the cookie sheet and dough will come right out. Flour cookie cutter before cutting the next cookie.
Put a half of a chocolate chip in place for Santa’s eyes. Bake cookies for 12 to 15 minutes. Do not allow to brown. Cool before decorating the rest of the cookie.
Use the paint brush and red food dye to paint Santa’s lips. Add red food dye to a single egg white and beat slightly. Use this mixture with the brush to paint the red of Santa’s hat and Santa’s cheeks. Then sprinkle these areas with red sugar, gently tap off any excess. The last step is to use Royal Icing to frost the end of Santa’s hat, his eye brows, his mustache, and his beard. A decorator bag or a butter knife can be used for this step. Allow to dry and store in an airtight container.
Share and enjoy making your own family tradition
Every Christmas, my father played Santa for our hometown of Lincoln, for parties, and family friends. My Mother made sure his costume was always in perfect order. Mom made these cookies every Christmas for us to enjoy and add to the magic of the Santa season. These cookies were usually the centerpiece of innumerable plates of cookies that were shared with our many friends. Mom and Dad are both gone, but the “Yeates” family tradition has continued on into the third generation. The entire family gathers to bake, decorate, and enjoy these beautiful Santas.