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Roly-Poly Santas

I tuck one of these fanciful Santas into every gift cookie tray I make. They're a guaranteed hit with kids—young and old. And I like that they're not too difficult to assemble. —Andrew Syer, Oak Ridge, Missouri
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour Bake: 15 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    About 1 dozen


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Red paste food coloring
  • Miniature semisweet chocolate chips or sprinkles
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/3 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk, divided
  • Sanding sugar, sugar pearls and Red Hot candies


  • Preheat oven to 325°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add milk and vanilla; mix well. Add flour and mix well. Remove 1-2/3 cups dough; tint red. Shape white dough into 12 balls, 3/4 in. each, 48 balls, 1/2 in. each. and 12 balls, 1/4 in. each. Shape red dough into 12 balls, 1-1/4 in. each, and 60 balls, 1/2 in. each.
  • Place the 1-1/4 in. red balls on two ungreased baking sheets for the body of 12 Santas. Attach 3/4-in. white balls for heads. Attach four 1/2-in. red balls to each Santa for arms and legs. Attach 1/2 in. white balls to ends of arms and legs for hands and feet; lightly press together.
  • Shape remaining 1/2-in. red balls into hats. Attach 1/4-in. white balls to tips of hats. Place inverted chocolate chips or sprinkles for eyes.
  • Bake until set, 12-15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes; carefully remove from pans to wire racks (cookies will be fragile).
  • For icing, combine shortening and vanilla in a small bowl; mix well. Gradually add 1-1/3 cups confectioners' sugar; add 1 tablespoon milk. Gradually add remaining sugar and milk.
  • Pipe a band of icing on hat, cuffs at hands and feet, and down the front and at bottom of jacket; while icing is still wet, sprinkle sugar over icing on brim of hat and cuffs at hands and feet. Pipe swirls of icing for beard and tip of hat. Place a Red Hot candy or red sugar pearls for nose, black sugar pearls for eyes, and silver sugar pearls for buttons.
Editor's Note: Remaining dough may be shaped into balls and baked.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 422 calories, 24g fat (12g saturated fat), 41mg cholesterol, 124mg sodium, 50g carbohydrate (32g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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