Ane Banwell of Lincoln shared this story about Santa’s Whiskers:
In the early 1970s, my husband’s aunt drove her 1948 Plymouth from McCook, Neb., to Lincoln to visit us for Christmas.
She brought Santa’s Whiskers, which our kids were afraid to eat: The cookies reminded them of a fruitcake my mom had made.
We had to beg the kids to try the cookies. Once the kids did, we had to keep refilling the plate with Santa’s Whiskers.
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract
2½ cups flour
¾ cup chopped red and green candied cherries, mixed
½ cup chopped pecans
¾ cup flaked coconut
Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in milk, vanilla and almond extract. On low speed, stir in flour, cherries and pecans.
Form into two logs, each 8 inches long. Roll each in coconut.
Wrap the logs and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice each log into ¼-inch thick cookies. Place slices on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 12 minutes, or until edges are golden. Makes five dozen cookies.
Kitchen test notes: Santa’s Whiskers go together quickly. They do not spread during baking, so bake slices closer together than with drop cookies. These cookies are a good choice for someone allergic to eggs. To make vegan Santa’s Whiskers, substitute vegetable shortening for the butter and replace milk with a nondairy option, such as soy milk, rice milk or almond milk. I used unsalted butter when I made Santa’s Whiskers. I will add salt or use regular butter when I make the cookies again.
— Staff writer Sue Story Truax