Christmas Santas

Be the hit of the cookie exchange with Christmas Santas!  Adorable, delicious and fun to make, this Santa-decorated sugar cookie will take the party by storm!

While there are three components to this cookie, none of them are complicated and the sugar cookie can be baked ahead of time so that all you need to do is make your icing, buttercream and off you go!

Begin by making this yummy sugar cookie.  It’s beautifully flavored with hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico, and brown sugar.  It’s not necessary to use the hazelnut liqueur if you don’t have any, but if you do, it’s delicious!

Make the cookie dough, roll it out and cut star shapes.  I use a 4″ star cutter as it’s easier to decorate.  If it’s too small, it will be difficult to get the eyes and nose to look right.

After the cookies are baked and are cooling, make the frosting and buttercream.  You can tint it red or leave it white. I did a little of both! The idea is to outline the cookie and then fill in the outline except for a triangle-ish area where the face and beard will be.  See my photo above if confused by my last instruction.

Now, coat the cookie with red non-pariels, sanding sugar, and sprinkles.  When you turn it over, the decorations will have stuck to the frosted area, leaving space for the beard and face.

All that’s left now is to make some tiny buttercream stars for the beard and cap and add a nose and some mini chocolate chip eyes.

These are the cutest, yummiest Christmas cookies ever!

Share Your Thoughts...

Lastly, if you make Christmas Santas, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Christmas Santas

Makes: 24 cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Bake Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes


For the Cookies:

  • 1 & 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp hazelnut liqueur (optional)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus an additional 2-4 tablespoons, if needed
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Vanilla Frosting:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp hazelnut liqueur (optional)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • assorted sprinkles, vanilla sugar, and or sanding sugar, for decorating

Vanilla Buttercream:

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, , at room temperature (optional)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the hazelnut liqueur (if using) and vanilla, beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the egg and mix until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, beat until combined and the dough forms a ball. If the dough feels too wet to roll out, add 2-4 tablespoons additional flour.

Divide the dough in half. Roll out the dough on a floured piece of parchment to 1/4 inch thickness. Make sure you’re using enough flour or your dough will stick. Cut out the cookies using a star shape. I like a 3-4″ star. Carefully transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet. I recommend using a floured spatula to lift the cookies. Cover the baking sheet and place in the freezer. Freeze until firm, about 20-30 minutes. Roll out the leftover scraps, and repeat with the remaining dough.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake the cookies on the middle rack of the oven for 8-10 minutes or until just lightly golden. Cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a medium bowl, beat together the powdered sugar, hazelnut liqueur (if using), vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water until smooth and drizzly. If needed, thin the glaze by adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until drizzly.

To make the buttercream, in a bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until extra light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat together until whipped, about 2 more minutes.

To Make Santas:

Outline a star cookie with vanilla frosting, then fill the cookie in with frosting, leaving 1 triangle portion without frosting for Santa’s face. Sprinkle/press red sprinkles and/or sanding sugar into the frosting to create his body and hat, shake off the excess. Attach two mini chocolate chips for his eyes. Fill in his beard with the buttercream frosting, then add a red sprinkle for his nose. See photos above.

Recipe from Half Baked Harvest


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