Cookies for Santa and a glass of milk, what more could you ask for on Christmas morning? Maybe your gifts under the tree. But in what lies the beauty of this holiday, if not the joy of spending time with your loved ones and making your own baked goods?
Santa Claus is coming to town, so you better watch out, you’d better not pout, and prepare some cookies for him! It’s a worldwide tradition that millions of children leave out cookies and milk for Santa Claus to enjoy after his trip around the world in one night.
Leaving cookies and milk for Santa took off as an American holiday tradition in the 1930s, during the Great Depression, when many parents tried to teach their children that it was important to give to others and to show gratitude for the gifts they were lucky enough to receive on Christmas.
Over the years, different countries have developed their own versions of the cookie-and-milk tradition. Today we’re going to talk about baking tips for making the perfect cookies for Santa.
My personal advice for you, if you have children, is to make the cookies together. That way, you're going to teach them to get involved and have fun in the kitchen. But we also have other tips for you, if you want to bake your cookies for Santa to perfection.
What to watch out for when you bake cookies for Santa
1. Read your recipe carefully before starting
When you want to make cookies for Santa, you need a recipe. So, choose one – or more, if you have the time – and read the recipe at least twice before buying the ingredients. Then be sure you have all of them and all the tools and utensils. When you’re cooking other dishes, you do have some freedom to change the ingredients, but improvising is almost impossible when making cookies and desserts. Baking demands accuracy and care.
2. Use quality ingredients
If you want to make the perfect cookies for Santa, use the best ingredients! Be sure that everything is fresh. Check the eggs’ expiration date, smell and taste the nuts, choose good butter and keep it at room temperature if your recipe demands it, combine the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients. Keep all the ingredients and utensils on hand before you start preparing the dough.
3. Measure the ingredients quantities correctly
Correct measuring is a baking must! One common cause of baking failures is the inaccurate measurement of ingredients. You can use the best ingredients in the world, but if you do not measure them correctly, the recipe will not come out properly.
4. Oven temperature
Preheat the oven 10 to 15 minutes before you begin baking cookies. This is a basic step when you make cookies, unless a recipe specifically asks you to start with a cold oven. If the temperature is too high or too low, it will affect your cookies in a bad way. Not only it’ll change the cooking time but it can throw off the texture and appearance of the cookies.
5. Give them the perfect shape
When you make cookies, you should also pay attention to their shape. Not just because you want them to look nice, but also because they should have a uniform thickness and size, so they will bake in the same amount of time. You don’t have to weigh the cookie dough for each cookie, but you can use a small cookie scoop or ice cream scoop, to make sure you make even-sized cookies. Also, leave enough room between cookies on the baking sheet so they won’t stick together.
3 easy-to-make cookie recipes to try this Christmas
1. Peanut butter cookies
Try these simple cookies and add a touch of peanut butter into the dough when you’re making them. When you place them near the tree, also add a bowl of fruit jam. Santa will be grateful for that!
2. Chocolate chip and walnut cookies
Do you think Santa likes chocolate? We think so, too! So why not give him two types of chocolate and some crunchy walnuts, all packed into these cookies? They’re ready in just over half an hour and they’re surely cheaper than store-bought ones.
3. Prune cookies
These prune cookies are soft and gooey on the inside, but crunchy on the outside. They go well with milk and some rest and relaxation during the long journey Santa is making on the magic night of Christmas.