Holiday Exclusive: Santa Speaks!

Santa: Hello? [To elf] I don’t think this thing is working. There’s no one… [Into phone] Hello? Hello?

DALS: Hi, Santa. Santa? I’m here.

Santa: Oh, okay. [To elf] It’s working now, Shorty. Go wrap. [Into phone] So, what can I do for you?

DALS: First, I just wanted to say it’s an honor talking to you and thanks so much for taking a few minutes of your time today. [All chipper-like] How’s everything going up there?!

Santa: I’m buried, man. It’s busy. You know.

DALS: I can’t even imagine.

Santa: No, you can’t. It’s a ton of ground to cover, let’s put it that way. I don’t want to complain, but yeah: it’s a lot. My back is killing me, bro. Bag’s heavy. Lotta Franzen requests this year.

DALS: Like I said, I can’t even —

Santa: Eh, you know what? Who cares. I don’t wanna complain. That’s the deal, right? I mean, this is what I signed up for.

DALS: Right. Well, thanks again for taking the time. It’s a real honor.

Santa: What’s this interview about, anyway? My publicist tells me nothing.

DALS: Okay, real quick: this is for a family dinner website and —

Santa: Family dinner? Wait, let me guess: You went to Brown.

DALS: [Confused] Brown? No, actually. I, uh, I was hoping to talk to you for a few minutes about food, and, you know, the sense of community we kind of create around it.

Santa: [Silence]

DALS: Hello?

Santa: Yeah, I’m here. I really don’t have a lot of time.

DALS: I know, I know. I’m sorry. I was just wondering if maybe you could share a holiday food tradition with our readers. Is there one thing that sticks out in your mind?

Santa: Hoo boy. This is serious? Okay, here’s my tradition: I come down the chimney and eat whatever is there, and then I move on. Hold on a sec. [Covers phone with hand] You call that a bow, Shorty? That’s EMBARRASSING, is what that is! No. Try again. [Into phone] Sorry about that. Sometimes I find food, and sometimes — mostly in France — I find nothing. Someone in Vegas left me a Red Bull once. We about done here?

DALS: Almost. I just wanted to ask you if you had anything memorable that you wanted to share with my readers — you know, food-wise.

Santa: Memorable? Okay, lemme think real quick. Uh, yeah. There’s one thing. There was a chimney I used to climb down in Virginia. This was in the Stone Age — probably 1980, back when I was lugging all those freakin’ Ataris around. At the bottom of this chimney was a really nice spread. That was good. Hit the spot.

DALS: What was it?

Santa: [Sighs heavily] Two carrots, peeled, for my reindeer, a can of Budweiser, and a —

DALS: Wait, did you say a can of Budweiser?

Santa: You heard me.

DALS: Okay, sorry. I interrupted you. What else was there?

Santa: There was this plate of cookies. Amazing , amazing sugar cookies. Frosted, too. I ate the hell out of those cookies.

DALS: Why do you remember them, above all others?

Santa: They were colorful. Sweet and a little bit salty. Pretty but not too pretty, if you know what I mean. Buttery, too. God, I love butter. My d-bag cardiologist is constantly harping on me about this. The guy’s a nightmare. But come on: I’m human, sort of. Butter is good. I can’t not eat butter. Anyway, these cookies were in all these happy, cheerful Christmasy shapes — bells and trees, snowmen and holly leaves and reindeer with raisins for eyes. I don’t know. You could just tell that whoever made them cared a lot. Some little kid put some love into those cookies. Man, it sounds cheesy when you say it like that. That last part is off the record.

DALS: It’s all about the salt, isn’t it? It’s that magical interplay between the sweet and the —

Santa: Whaddya, get paid by the question or something? [To elf] Another break? Seriously? There’s 200,000 more iPads that need boxing, Shorty. 200,000. And don’t give me the tired eyes, okay? [Into phone] I’m sorry, I gotta go. Miles to go and all.

DALS: Okay, okay. I just want to make sure I have this right: Two peeled carrots, a Budweiser, and those sugar cookies. Where do you think I might find that recipe?

Santa: You’re on your own there, mon frere. Probably a family heirloom, is my guess. And another thing…

DALS: Yes, Santa?

Santa: Lose the number.

The Christmas cookie tradition being passed on from grandmother to granddaughter, 2007. Happy Birthday Hubba! We can't believe you're almost 50!

Santa-Endorsed Christmas Cookies
Makes about Three Dozen

In a large bowl, whisk together:

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

In another large bowl, using a mixer, blend together until light and fluffy:

  • 3/4 cups softened unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (or almond extract, if that’s your thing)

Slowly beat flour mix into butter mixture. Wrap in wax paper and chill in fridge until firm, at least 1 hour. Roll out dough on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick. Using your favorite cookie cutters, make cookies. Bake at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes.


Blend together: 1/4 cup butter, 4 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup milk (heated), 1 teaspoon vanilla. Separate into bowls and add two or three drops of food coloring to each. Spread on cooled cookies and top with sprinkles and sugar crystals. The frost will be gooey at first, but will harden after spread. If frosting hardens in the bowl, just stir with a whisk to loosen it. Apply liberally.

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Just made a batch to chill overnight for our kid cookie-decorating party tomorrow…now I’m wondering if I should make a second batch. Any estimate on how many this recipe makes? I know…with cookie cutters, who knows. How ’bout a kid estimate? I’ve got 3 boys and 3 buddies joining us tomorrow.


Deirdre – I made two batches when I did basically the same cookie party last weekend. (Total: Seven kids.) Each batch makes about 3 dozen cookies. I had a little left over, but that was fine. Have fun!


Dierdre – I second Jenny’s suggestion. I really appreciated that it didn’t make a ton of cookies, but you might wish for more if you just have your one batch.

Thanks so much for posting these, guys! I have never been a big sugar cookie fan, but I wanted to make a cookie this year that my toddler could enjoy too, and we haven’t introduced her to chocolate yet — so I made these yesterday, and LOVE them. They seem a little less sweet than others I have had (especially because I was sparse on the frosting, not wanting them to be too sweet), and taste SO GOOD.


Loved these:) Thanks, Jenny, for replying. I went with two batches and was glad I did—the boys seemed even more into the rolling out and cookie cutting as the decorating, but definitely into eating them more than anything.

Here’s a link to easy but fun & silly melting snowman cookies:
Easy with the little leftover dough (no flour or rolling needed, just drop balls and flatten), and still relevant after Christmas.


I read your blog every day, and it is also my go-to for when I’m looking for a recipe. My daughter and her friend wanted to make and decorate Christmas cookies, and I thought this recipe looked wonderful. And, if it’s good enough for the Man in Red, it’s good enough for me.

This was my first time making roll-out cookies and these were so easy and delicious. Honestly, that frosting is also lovely and I’m not a frosting girl. Caught my daughter eating the extra out of a bowl, too.

Question: what’s that cloth being used in the pic to roll the dough? An ordinary dishcloth, or a cloth meant for this purpose?

I love these cookies! We might have to make another batch before the holiday season is over. Thanks.