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Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Put the 1 cup of room temperature butter into the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on high for about 30 seconds or until light and fluffy. Add in the sugar and beat until combined. Then add in the milk and vanilla while the blender is still going.
Once the milk and vanilla are mixed in, turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the flour, mixing until it’s all added and everything is combined.
Remove 1 cup of the dough and set aside. With the remaining dough, add in the red food coloring.
To create a Santa, make one 1-inch ball and five 1/2-inch balls from the red dough. From the plain dough, make a 3/4-inch ball and four 1/4 inch balls. You will have a body, head, hat, four red arms and four hands and a white ball for the top of the hat. See the related blog link for photos. I found it was easiest to make all the individual parts and line them up in a row (one row for each Santa). This way you can build all the Santas at once.
On a non-stick cookie sheet, assemble the Santas by pressing all of the dough parts together. Add the chocolate chips for eyes and three buttons.
Bake the Santas for 12-15 minutes and then remove them from the oven and let them cool for about 2 minutes.
While the cookies bake make the frosting for Santa’s beard. Beat the 1/2 cup of butter and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer for about 30 seconds. Gradually add the powdered sugar and enough milk to make the frosting piping consistency.
Spoon the frosting into a decorating pastry bag (you can use a Ziplock bag and cut off the corner, if you prefer). Pipe the frosting with a fun tip to create Santa’s beard. Use the pastry bag to go around Santa’s face, arms and legs. Put a small dot on the tip of his hat and then place one red mini M&M on his face as his nose.
Recipe adapted from tablespoon.com.
Epiphany is celebrated on January 6, and commemorates the Magi’s visit to the Christ Child. Growing up, our church would celebrate with Epiphany Cakes, which were filled with trinkets signifying different things. A fun way to celebrate the twelve day of Christmas with your kids! (Note: Be careful with small objects; make sure kids know they’re in the cake.)
These would be the perfect cookies to make with kids on Christmas eve to set out for Santa! Not only are they cute and fun, but they’re absolutely delicious. A soft and chewy sugar cookie base with cream cheese frosting, white chocolate, chocolate chips, marshmallows and sprinkles!
The main thing to remember about peppernuts is that they are tiny, about a third to a half inch, no larger. Peppernuts are a tradition in many German families. They came to our area with the Mennonite immigration in the 1870′s. Imagine generations of people grabbing a handful or two of peppernuts and munching away and you have a tradition worth continuing.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!