One of our family favorites for many years, Santa's Whiskers is an old recipe from an old old version of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. You know the book- the red and white checked cover, widely thought of as THE handbook for new cooks just starting out on their own. For many years I made this version of the recipe which is a sugar cookie base with red and green candied cherries and nuts mixed in, then rolled into logs, rolled in coconut, chilled, sliced and baked. While the original version is pretty easy, you do have to plan ahead so allow the logs of dough to chill completely. My revised version is a drop cookie dough with all the delicious ingredients mixed in. Super easy to make ahead and then scoop and bake as needed or make up at the last minute and bake immediately.
This is a large family sized batch, great for cookie exchanges, bake sales and family baking days. I used a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop for even cookies. They bake up soft and chewy so be sure to store in an airtight container or ziptop bags to stay fresh.
Our Family's Santas Whiskers
2 cups butter, room temperature
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped red candied cherries
1 cup chopped green candied cherries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flaked coconut
Using a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Gradually mix in the combined flour, salt and baking powder until dough is completely mixed.
Stir in the cherries, nuts and coconut.
Scoop the dough onto parchment lined baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on pan, then remove to rack to cool.