Santa’s Whiskers Cookies are a shortbread cookie with candied fruit, nuts and coconut to make a fun and festive way to celebrate the holidays! Easy to make ahead too.
I first tasted these Santa’s Whiskers Cookies at a cookie exchange almost 20 years ago! I used to be part of a women’s club when we first moved to our new neighborhood. It was a new subdivision development so the women’s club was a great way to get to know my neighbors. And since I love to bake, I took advantage of any opportunity to join in on a cookie exchange. A few years later I was hosting them myself or participating in cookie exchanges through my local MOMS Club.
First of all, I thought the name, Santa’s Whiskers Cookies was such a cute name and sounded perfect for our holiday baking! I love how festive they are with the chopped red and green candied cherries. They are slightly sweet like a shortbread. With the addition of coconut around the edges to create Santa’s Whiskers that makes these a perfect choice for any holiday cookie platter. And here’s a tip: they are also great with a cup of tea or hot cocoa!
After that first taste of these cookies, soon these Santa’s Whiskers Cookies became my staple holiday cookie go-to at future cookie exchanges. I originally shared this recipe here on Meal Planning Magic over six years ago but since they are still one of my all-time favorites I wanted to share the recipe again today.
The dough mixes up quickly. You can find the candied cherries in the seasonal baking aisle of most grocery stores. Since the dough does require chilling for several hours, it’s easy to make these ahead of time and bake up later. Sometimes I’ll just freeze the dough rolls and pull them out thaw then bake up fresh when I’ve got an occasion to serve them. Don’t forget to label the dough in the foil! Use a serrated knife to make slicing the cookies easier and less likely to squash! I usually sprinkle the coconut on the foil and then roll the cookie dough log in the coconut. Makes for less mess and it’s easier too!
I hope you’ll give these a try!
Santa's Whiskers Cookies
- 3/4 cup butter softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup finely chopped candied red and green cherries
- 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
- 3/4 cup shredded coconut
- Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and beat till combined. Beat in milk and vanilla till combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can. Stir in remaining flour. Stir in cherries and pecans. Shape into two 8-inch-long loaves. Roll loaves in coconut. Wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper; chill 2-24 hours.
- Heat oven to 375°F. Cut loaves into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or till edges are golden. Transfer cookies to wire racks and cool.
- To store: Place in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature up to 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.