It would not be Christmas without the decorated sugar cookies. But these cookies are really something special.  A recipe dated back to the 1970’s, these three-step process cookies have become a family and friend favorite in my house.  The Santa face cookie cutter is what I use (note the beards and caps specialty icing), but don’t let that keep you from just using the decorator’s icing for any cookie cut-out.  It’s a tradition that brings kids of all ages delight at the holiday season.  Don’t forget to leave a cookie or two for Santa!  Happy Holidays!


Cookie Ingredients

1 C Butter/Oleo

1 1/2 cup sugar

3 Eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 Santa Face Cookie Cutter

Raisins for Santa’s Eyes


In a bowl, cream together the butter/oleo, sugar, vanilla and eggs.  In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, Cream of Tartar and salt.  Gently combine both bowls, creaming completely each time.  Chill dough for at least an hour.


Handling a small amount at a time, gently form a ball in your hands and roll out on counter, keeping the counter floured.   With a floured rolling pin, roll out to about 1/8 inch thick.  Cut with your Santa face cookie cutter (or any cookie cutter of your choice) one at a time and arrange about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Add 1/2 a raisin each for the eyes.


Bake until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until firm enough to transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.


For Decorator Frosting:

4 Egg Whites

1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar

1 cup of Crisco.

2 lbs of sifted powdered sugar

Beat the egg whites then add Cream of Tartar, Crisco and finally sugar in an electric mixer on medium-high speed in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Beat in the food coloring if using. (The icing can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.)


For Santa Caps and Beards (If you are making Santa faces)

2 1/2 tablespoon flour

1/2 c milk

1 egg white

1/2 c white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 lb powdered sugar

1 stick (1/2c) room temperature butter

Cook the flour and milk slowly until it thickens. Cool in the refrigerator until almost completely cold.  (This is important.)  In a separate bowl,  cream white sugar, egg white, and shortening until well blended and the sugar granules disappear.  Add the cooked mixture and beat very well until totally combined.