Cookies recipe

A recipe for red velvet cookies to fashion Santa hats, stockings, candy canes and more

Red Velvet Santa Hat Cookies

Active time:1h10

Total time:2 hours 15 minutes

Servings:36 to 54 cookies, depending on cookie cutter

Active time:1h10

Total time:2 hours 15 minutes

Servings:36 to 54 cookies, depending on cookie cutter


These festive cookies can also be made into candy canes, stocking stuffers, or any of your favorite cookie cutter shapes. Yield will vary depending on the size and shape of your cookie cutter.

Red gel food coloring is more concentrated than liquid food coloring; but liquid food coloring can be used (the color won’t be as bright).

Recipe Notes: The wrapped dough disc can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Finished cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

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  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 1/3 cup (45 grams) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/3 cups (265 grams) granulated sugar
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks/226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon red gel food coloring (see recipe notes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces (115 grams) white chocolate, finely chopped

Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. (You may need a third or may need to reuse one, depending on how many cookies you have.)

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Sift the cocoa powder and baking soda, then whisk the dry ingredients together to aerate and combine.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer and large bowl, combine the sugar and butter and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then increase to medium and beat until light and fluffy, an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

Stop the mixer and use a flexible spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and paddle attachment. Still on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each one is well incorporated before adding the next, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. Add the food coloring and vanilla extract and stir until the red coloring is evenly dispersed.

Reduce speed to low. Pour in the flour mixture and mix until a dough forms and the dough is just combined. (If there are lumps of flour in the bottom of the bowl, use a large sturdy spatula to incorporate the remaining flour by hand.)

Lightly flour your work surface. Scrape the dough onto the work surface and gather the dough into a disc. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.

When cooking, lightly reflour your work surface. Roll out cookie dough to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Using floured cookie cutters, cut out cookies, then transfer to prepared baking sheets, 1 inch apart (they won’t spread much). Roll up all the leftovers and repeat. Freeze cookies for 15 minutes. (If your freezer is tight on space, you can freeze then bake one sheet at a time, on the middle rack, or you can wrap them more tightly on a sheet to freeze them, then divide them among several pans for baking. )

While the cookies cool, position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

Bake chilled cookies for 10 to 11 minutes, or until mostly dry to the touch but appear slightly puffy with crisp-looking edges, turning top to bottom and forward back halfway. Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan with a few inches of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Add the white chocolate and stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Drizzle the melted chocolate along the bottom and top of the cookies to mimic the white fur on Santa’s hat (or decorate according to your chosen shape). You can swirl with the spoon or a toothpick for more texture. Return the bowl to the double boiler if the chocolate starts to seize, or place the bowl in a large bowl of warm water to keep it fluid. Let the chocolate set on the cookies, about 5 minutes, before serving or storing.

Calories: 91; Total fat: 4 g; Saturated fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 17mg; Sodium: 27mg; Carbohydrates: 12g; Dietary fibre: 1 g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 1g

This analysis is an estimate based on the available ingredients and this preparation. It should not replace the advice of a dietitian or nutritionist.

De Vallery Lomas, author of “Life is what you prepare for it” (Clarkson Potter, 2021).

Tested by Tom Sietsema; questions by e-mail to [email protected].

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