Santa Cookies




(360 g.) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 tsp.

baking powder
1/2 tsp.

kosher salt
1 c.

(2 sticks) unsalted butter softened
1 c.

(200 g.) granulated sugar

large egg
1 tbsp.

whole milk
1 tsp.

pure vanilla extract


(2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
5 c.

(570 g.) powdered sugar
1/4 c.

whole milk
1/2 tsp.

pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp.

kosher salt

Red food coloring, red sanding sugar, and red and brown mini M&M's, for decorating


COOKIESStep 1In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and granulated sugar until fluffy and pale in color, about 2 minutes. Add egg, milk, and vanilla and beat on medium speed until combined. Gradually add dry ingredients and beat until just combined.
Step 2Divide dough in half and place one-half between 2 pieces of lightly floured parchment. Roll to a scant 1/4"-thick round. Transfer to a large baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
Step 3Preheat oven to 350° and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Step 4Cut out shapes of dough with a 4 1/2" Santa-shaped cookie cutter. Transfer to prepared baking sheets, spacing 1" apart. Freeze 5 minutes.
Step 5Bake cookies until edges are lightly golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

FROSTING & ASSEMBLYStep 1In a large bowl, using electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until smooth. Add milk, vanilla, and salt and beat until well combined.
Step 2Transfer two-thirds of the buttercream to a piping bag or resealable plastic bag fitted with a small star tip. Whisk a few drops of red food coloring into the remaining buttercream.
Step 3 Using a small offset spatula, spread red buttercream over tops of the cookies to create the hat. Dip into sanding sugar, pressing to smooth and adhere.
Step 4 Using short piping motions, pipe stars of white buttercream onto cookies to create a beard and ball on each cap. Press 1 red M&M into the beard for a nose. Using small amounts of buttercream, secure brown M&M's onto each cookie to create eyes.

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