Whole Wheat Santa Sugar Cookies are easy to make and have a deliciously nutty flavor. Use the royal icing recipe provided to decorate a batch of cute Santa faces.
Ho-ho-ho! Is there anything more Christmassy than a Santa Claus-shaped sugar cookie? I don’t think so! These cookies have a simple design which makes them easy to assemble and fun to decorate.
To make the Santa faces, you’ll need a 3-inch teardrop-shaped cutter, or you can do as I did and bend a heart-shaped cutter into a teardrop.
You’ll also need a 1-inch round cutter, or a use a similar sized bottle cap. The little circles of dough cut in half will fashion 3D mustaches on the Santa faces!
How to decorate!
After the cookies are baked and cooled, decorate them with lemon royal icing. The tutorial above will give you an idea about how the decorating process should go. You’ll only need to tint half the icing with red food color, and the rest you can leave plain white. I used little black pearl sprinkles for Santa’s eyes, and a sheet of candy dots for the noses (just the pink and orange ones). The top of Santa’s hat is a small sugar pearl.
As a finishing touch, I piped a small curly line of frosting on the Santa beards and sprinkled them with sparkling sugar. This is optional, but really cute! Next time, I may cover Santa’s beard and mustache with sparkling sugar to give him even more twinkle.
Royal icing-decorated sugar cookies are usually pretty involved, but this design isn’t elaborate. It’s not as time-consuming as most, but you’ll still spend some time carefully applying all the little details. I think it’s time well spent, especially if you’re making memories with family!
Related recipe: Stained Glass Sugar Cookies
Whole Wheat Santa Sugar Cookies
- Teardrop cookie cutter 3"
- Round cookie cutter 1"
Sugar cookie dough
- 1/2 lb. two US sticks unsalted butter
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 cups whole wheat flour I used King Arthur
- Pinch of salt
- 2-4 tablespoons ice cold water
Royal icing and décors
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar sifted
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 1/2 cup warm water plus additional for thinning
- 1/2 teaspoon clear lemon extract
- Red gel food color
- Black sugar pearls
- Candy dots the pink and orange ones
- White Sixlets
- In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar together until just incorporated. Do not over-mix at this stage, or the cookies may spread while baking.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix again on low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl intermittently as needed.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour and salt. Add to the butter and egg mixture. Mix on low speed until a dough is formed and there are no longer any streaks of butter in the mixing bowl. The dough will often clump around the paddle attachment while being mixed. This is normal and a good sign that your dough is the right consistency. If your mixture does not come together and is crumbly, add ice cold water 1 tbsp. at a time until the dough clumps. Roll the dough flat between sheets of parchment paper and chill until ready for use, at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Use a 3 inch teardrop shaped cutter to stamp shapes from the dough and transfer them to the prepared pans. Stamp an equal amount of 1-inch round shapes and then cut them in half. Transfer to the prepared pans. Chill the shapes in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly brown on the edges. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, stir the confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder on low speed until combined.
- Add the water and beat on medium-high speed until thickened. Mix in the flavoring. Scrape down the bowl and beat again. Mix in drops of water until the icing thins to flood consistency (It should be thick and pourable like a milkshake. Run a spatula through the icing to check; the indention should disappear by the count of 10.) Remove one third of the icing to a separate bowl and tint using the red gel food color. Use the icing immediately or drape a damp tea towel over the mixing bowl or bowls to prevent the icing from drying out. Transfer icings to piping bags fitted with small round decorator tips.
- Pipe the beard: Using a disposable piping bag fitted with a small round tip, or using a zip-top bag with a tiny hole snipped in the end, pipe a line of white frosting across the middle of the cookie, and then down around the bottom rounded edge of the cookies. Let stand for 2 minutes. Flood the inside of the shape with more white icing until completely covered and smooth.
- Pipe the mustaches: Add two small half circle cookies to the middle of the teardrop cookies and onto the freshly piped beard frosting (half circles should be flat/cut sides up –see pictures). Pipe white frosting onto the half circles and spread evenly using a toothpick.
- Noses and eyes: Add a tiny dot of frosting to the centers of the mustaches (where the cookies meet), and then place a pink or an orange candy dot on top for Santa noses. Just above and to the left and right of the nose, add two dots of frosting where the eyes will go. Using kitchen-dedicated tweezers, place the black sugar pearls on the frosting. Let stand until set, about 10 minutes.
- Santa’s hat: Using the red royal icing bag, pipe a triangle at the top point of the cookie and flood with royal icing. Immediately place a white Sixlet at the top point of the triangle. Add a line of white frosting at the bottom of the triangle to finish Santa’s hat.
- Allow the cookies to dry completely, several hours or overnight (preferred).
- Optional: On set cookies, using the white icing, pipe a curlicue onto the Santa beards and cover with clear sparkling sugar. Let dry completely before packaging.