Ok, ok -- so I know you're probably on holiday dessert overload right now, but there is one more important dish you'd better start planning for if you haven't already. Duh ... cookies to leave out for Santa. And you know he's totally over store-bought sweets at this point -- which is why you can't go wrong in leaving him a plate of these adorable Snowflake Cookies.
This recipe from Pillsbury uses a chocolate dough, but if you think Santa is more of a sugar cookie kinda guy, I'm sure you can use more of a standard flavor for the base.
The best part of these cookies, however, is the fun you'll have decorating them with your kids on or before Christmas Eve. Think how excited they'll get about making custom treats for Santa -- which he will no doubt love more than any other cookie at any other household that night!
Did I mention you can make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for whenever you're ready to get baking? (Winning.)
Chocolate Snowflake Cookies (adapted a little from Pillsbury)
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups all purpose or unbleached flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Frosting/Decorations of your choice
In large bowl, beat sugar and margarine until light and fluffy. Add milk, vanilla, and egg; blend well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda; mix well. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour for easier handling.
Heat oven to 350°F. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough, 1/3 at a time, to 1/8-inch thickness; refrigerate remaining dough. Cut with floured 2 1/2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350°F. for 8 to 11 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely. Decorate and have fun!
What kind of treats do you usually leave out for Santa?
Image via Tammy Hanratty/Corbis