Leaving Cookies for Santa

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

What cookies did you leave for Santa back when you were young and a believer? In my childhood home, it was Red and Green Christmas Balls (one red, one green) and a cup of cocoa left on the fireplace hearth. I no longer leave out cookies on Christmas Eve but my Mum still sends me a box of Red and Green Christmas Balls every year.

Last time I was home at holiday time, she pulled out her yellow pyrex mixing bowl and whipped up a batch. I was assigned my childhood task: rolling the balls of dough into the red and green colored sugar and carefully placing them on the cookie sheet. These memories and traditions are a precious gift, as sweet and shining as Santa’s cookies…and much longer lasting!

Read on for the recipe and leave a comment on your Santa treat!

Red and Green Christmas Balls

makes 2 dozen cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla

1 Tbs water

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup chopped pecans

red and green colored sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a mixing bowl (preferably yellow pyrex but any medium-sized bowl will do) cream the butter with the powdered sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla and water and beat until incorporated. It helps to use an electric mixer as the water will resist the oiliness of the butter and refuse to mix in at first. Add the flour and pecans and mix until just incorporated.

Roll into marble-sized balls, then roll the balls in the sugar and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the cookies are set and the bottoms have browned slightly. Cool on racks. Serve with hot chocolate on Christmas Eve, being careful to save enough to leave out for you-know-who.