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San Angelo Lifestyles

Christmas Treats for Santa and his Reindeer

There is arguably no time as magical as Christmas, and no day as exciting - for children and children at heart - as Christmas Eve. Most families traditionally bake cookies on Christmas Eve to leave out with milk for Santa to enjoy during his stop, and we mustn't forget his reindeer!

Ashly Elf's Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies
These soft batch cookies are made with a combination of butter and cream cheese, which makes them extra rich and delicious!

• 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
• 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened*
• 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons cornstarch
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
• 2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks**

1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, cream cheese (measure it by smooshing it into a 1/4-cup measure), sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use an electric hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes).

2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.

3. Add chocolate chips and chunks, and beat momentarily to incorporate, or fold in by hand.

4. Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping mounds (I made 28). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly with your palm, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will
spread and bake thinner and flatter.

5. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat or spray with
cooking spray and place mounds on the baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet).

6. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if slightly undercooked, pale and glossy in the center. Do not bake longer than 10 minutes as cookies will firm up as they cool.

7. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a
rack to finish cooling.***

8. Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3
months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to
5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be
baked in the future when desired.

Magic Reindeer Food Recipe
This is an easy recipe from Organized Christmas that will help you and your little ones prepare for Santa's arrival, and add just a bit more magic to Christmas.  Sprinkle it on the lawn before the kids go to bed for Rudolf and friends to enjoy while Santa does his work. 

In a small zipper food storage bag or empty shaker container, mix:

1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup red or green sugar crystals (as used for cake decorating)
[Note: many Internet recipes for Magic Reindeer Food call for craft glitter, which can harm birds or wildlife if ingested. For safety, substitute colored sugar crystals and be kind to animals!]

Use this cute printable tag from Organized Christmas if gifting your Reindeer Food.
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Digital Issue Summer 2021