Making cookies is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.
Unfortunately, like many of my favorite things of the holiday season, my hand mixer and stand mixer are both still in VA. So while I haven’t gotten to make all my favorite cookies, that has not kept me from eating a significant portion of cookies that others have made. (Not helping my cause to look swimsuit ready by the first of the year!)
One cookie that I love that no one knows about is Santa’s Whiskers. This is a cookie my mom started making years ago when she found it in Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. It is still included in their classic Red and White cookbook but I have never met another soul outside my family that makes them. It is a fabulous cookie. If you like pecans and coconut, this is THE cookie for you. If you don’t, then
your crazy that is your loss.
Normally I make cookies every year and give the majority of them away to co-workers. This cookie is the one that makes everyone stop and go “What is this?” This alien cookie with bits of red candied cherry’s, nuts, and crunchy coconut. Everyone is wary when they first pick it up – it is sniffed cautiously. (It smells divine!) A hesitant bite is taken, which is followed by a brightening of the eyes and a small, “Oh!”
I have to keep copies of the recipe below on my person so after they eat the cookie and rush over to see if there are any more, I can give them the means to make them at home. I highly encourage you to try these out this year! As a bonus, I have added my own personal notes since I have been making these for about ten years. It should help you through any sticky situation!
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-cup red candied cherries (if you can get red and green it is more festive)
1/2 cup pecans
1 cup flaked coconut
Chop up the candied cherries and pecans. (Tip: When chopping up the cherries put a little flour on your knife once it gets sticky) The original recipe calls for them to be chopped finely. I like a little chunkier cookie so I normally make mine a little bit bigger.
In a large mixer bowl beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the milk and vanilla and beat for another 30 sec. Next, add flour gradually and beat until well mixed. Once you have all the flour beat in, add the cherries and pecans and stir gently to mix. Divide the roll into three sections and shape into about a 7" roll. Lay out three sheets of saran wrap. Place a log on the wrap and roll in coconut to coat. (Note: This will result in not all of the coconut sticking to the cookie. Press in as much as you can with the saran wrap and we will resolve later.) Wrap up log and chill for several hours (at least three).
Preheat oven to 375F. Now you have a decision to make. Do you want crunchy cookies or chewy cookies? If you want them a little crunchy, slice them into about 1/4" thick slices. If you want them chewy, slice them about 1/2” thick. If this is your first time making them, do it up half-and-half and see which you prefer. Remember all that excess coconut that wouldn’t stick? As you place each cookie on ungreased cookie sheet, press a little coconut into the top of the cookie. (Brilliant? Yes, I know). Bake about 12 minutes or until coconut is slightly browned. Remove and cool. Eat with a nice glass of milk or a cup of cocoa!
What is your favorite cookie? Did you already know about this one? You would be the first people ever that I have met that have eaten them without me offering one first.