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Santa’s Whiskers Cookie Recipe

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Santa’s Whiskers Cookies are a slice-and-bake holiday cookie, flavored with pecans, and candied cherries, and rolled in coconut flakes. They are always a hit with the kids and are the perfect cookie for Holiday Cookie Exchanges! 

(Scroll to the bottom for printable recipe and downloadable recipe card to include when giving these cookies as gifts.)

Santa's Whiskers Cookies

Santa’s Whiskers Cookies

I love doing cookie exchanges with my friends and family – they’re such a great way to try a variety of Christmas cookies without baking a million different ones myself. My favorite part is when I get to try new recipes and discover cookies I’ve never tried before, so I always try to make something a little special for all cookie exchanges.

That’s what I love about these Santa’s Whiskers Cookies. They are so different from the typical fudge or classic sugar/chocolate chip/peanut butter cookies you are almost guaranteed to get at any cookie exchange, but they don’t take a lot more work than those other cookies, either.  The red cherries and coconut flakes give them a pop of festive color too!

Santa's Whiskers Cookie Recipe

Another bonus is that this recipe makes around 60 cookies, so it’s great for when you need to bake for a large group.

And, of course, they are so yummy! Everyone I’ve shared them with – even my son, who usually goes straight for chocolate chip or sugar cookies –  loves them and has asked for the recipe.

Santa’s Whiskers Ingredients + Tips

  • Butter | I prefer salted butter in my cookie recipes, however, you can use unsalted and just add a 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the dough mixture. Make sure your butter has come to room temperature.
  • Sugar | White granulated is what you want to use in this recipe. (White granulated sugar helps make cookies crispy.)
  • Milk |
  • Vanilla extract |
  • All-purpose flour |
  • Red candied cherries | If you can’t find candied cherries, maraschino cherries will also work. Dried cranberries work well too.
  • Pecans | Finely chopped.
  • Flaked coconut | You want to use the sweetened coconut.

How to Make Santa’s Whiskers Cookies

The Santas Whiskers are actually not that difficult to make.  They are just a basic sugar cookie recipe, but with the addition of cherries and coconut, and pecans. 

how to make santas whiskers cookies

These are slice-and-bake cookies, so the one thing to note is you will roll the cookie dough into a log shape, and the dough does need to chill for several hours before slicing and baking.

How to make Santa's Whiskers Cookies

If you’re having a big baking day, I would make this dough in the morning and just let it chill while you bake your other cookies. Or make the dough the day before and then let it chill overnight.  

Recipe Tips

  • For best results, make sure your butter has come to room temperature. (Softened butter makes it easier to cream the butter and sugar together.) Creaming softened butter and sugar together incorporates air into the dough, helping the cookies become lighter as they bake.
  • Want a perfectly round cookie? After wrapping your cookie dough log in plastic wrap, grab an empty paper towel tube and cut it open longways. Wrap the tube around the log and use it to shape your log. Chill the log in the paper towel tube for at least 4 hours or longer.
  • To keep your cookies from getting too brown on the bottom:
    • Use a light-colored baking sheet, use a silicone baking mat, or line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
    • It is also important not to cook your cookies on the bottom rack, you want them in the middle of the oven for even baking. (So, for the best results, bake only one cookie sheet at a time.)
    • Another good tip is to let your baking sheets cool in between batches of cookies. (When the weather is cold, I just put my cookie sheets outside in between batches, lol.)
    • Lastly, I recommend setting your timer for a minute or two before the recommended baking time and checking your cookies for doneness.


  • Use green candied cherries in addition to the red.
  • Replace the pecans with another nut, like pistachios, almonds, or macadamia nuts,
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract for a delicious cherry almond flavor.
  • Add white chocolate chips or drizzle the cookie with white chocolate after baking.


Cool cookies completely before storing them.

Store the Santa’s Whiskers Cookies in an air-tight container at room temperature for 1 week. Glass containers work best to keep your cookies crisp.

Baked cookies freeze well. wrap in plastic wrap and store in a Ziploc bag or airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

This Santa's Whiskers Cookie Recipe is always a hit with the kids and is the perfect cookie for Holiday Cookie Exchanges!


Can I Skip The Chilling Step For The Santa’s Whiskers Cookies?

You don’t want to skip this step. It is important to chill slice and bake cookie dough before baking because the chilling process allows the flavors to meld and the dough to firm up, which results in cookies that are both flavorful and chewy.

Chilling also helps the cookies keep their shape and not spread out too much when baked.

I Don’t Like Coconut; Can I Leave It Out?

Yes, you can leave out the coconut; the cookies will be delicious, either way. If you still want a similar look, you can roll the dough in finely chopped macadamia nuts or, for a more festive look, try rolling them in sprinkles.

Can These Cookies Be Made Ahead Of Time?

Yes, you can make the dough, form it into logs and wrap them in plastic wrap; the dough logs will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days before baking. Any longer than that, you will want to freeze the unbaked logs for up to 3 months.

Printable Recipe Card

If you’re planning on giving Santa’s Whiskers as a gift or at a cookie exchange, don’t forget to include a recipe card with your cookies. I’ve included a prewritten recipe card here, Santa’s Whiskers Recipe Card, and a blank recipe card to use for other cookies and shareable recipes.

This Santa's Whiskers Cookie Recipe is always a hit with the kids and is the perfect cookie for Holiday Cookie Exchanges!

Did You Try These Santa’s Whiskers Cookies?

Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or a review in the comments section below. If you share an image on Instagram or Facebook, be sure to tag me and use #scatteredmomrecipes!

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Santas Whiskers cookie recipe

Santa’s Whiskers Cookies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Jamie Sanders
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 12
  • Total Time: 32 min + 4 hours to chill
  • Yield: 4 to 5 dozen 1x
  • Category: desserts
  • Method: oven


This Santa’s Whiskers Cookie Recipe is a slice-and-bake cookie, flavored with pecans, and candied cherries, and rolled in coconut flakes. They are always a hit with the kids and are the perfect cookie for Holiday Cookie Exchanges! 


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 21/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-cup red candied cherries, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 cup flaked coconut


  1. In a large mixer bowl, beat butter till softened. Add sugar and beat till fluffy. Add milk and vanilla and beat well.
  2. Add flour and beat until well mixed.  Stir in cherries and pecans.
  3. Shape into three 7″ rolls.
  4. Roll in coconut to coat.
  5. Wrap and chill for several hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 375F.
  7. Cut into 1/4″ thick slices. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until done. Transfer to wire racks; let cool.


  • Serving Size: 2 cookies
  • Calories: 154
  • Fat: 9
  • Carbohydrates: 19
  • Protein: 1

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  1. I make these every year and I add green cherries, too. My all time favorite cookie.

  2. The BEST Christmas cookies. Easy too

  3. I’m wondering how many cookies you get from this yummy looking recipe? Thx

  4. Have you tried freezing these while still in log form? If so, should it thaw completely before slicing and baki

    I’ve been making these for years – love them – just never tried freezing the dough.

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      I have not frozen this particular recipe, but I have frozen other cookie dough in log form and it worked fine. I’m sure this one would too.

  5. These cookies are awesome! My mom always made them growing up.

  6. These are delicious. I added orange zest. Highly recommend.

  7. I haven’t made yet But I sure will Look so good