You know the holiday baking (eating) has gotten out of hand when your 14-year-old starts lecturing.

“That’s pretty stupid,” he says upon learning I ate cookies for breakfast, cookies for a mid-morning snack and cookies this afternoon. “I’m not trying to be mean, but you’ve got to have your protein, your carbs, your iron.”

You also have to have these:


Buttery oblongs studded with cherries, chocolate and coconut.

I made these beauties this afternoon from a decades-old Better Homes & Garden cookbook, subbing maraschino cherries (I like Haddon House) for their candied cousins and adding chocolate chips. Even with a 20-minute rest in the freezer, they took less than an hour to put together and yielded over 4 dozen ooey, gooey mouthfuls.

I don’t care what my teenager says.

When it comes to holiday baking, I think I’m pretty smart.

Santa’s Whiskers (adapted from Better Homes & Gardens)

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped maraschino cherries, blotted dry (or 1 cup chopped candied cherries)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside.

Cream the butter in a stand mixer for about a minute. Add the sugar and mix until fluffy.

Add the milk and vanilla, beating until well-incorporated.

Add the flour and mix on slow speed just ’til combined.

Add the cherries, coconut, chocolate chips and pecans. Mix slowly, just until those add-ins are incorporated into your dough.

cookie logsDivide the dough in half. Form into logs and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Freeze for 20 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove the dough logs from the freezer. Unwrap and cut into 1/3-inch slices. Place on your baking sheets and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool, then eat to your heart’s content.