My love for Santa runs deep. My first Santa cookie made its debut a few years ago on the Martha Stewart Show with the Santa and toy bag version to follow. When we were talking about watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade this year I proclaimed that Santa is the best part- he is of course the big finale and I love that he kicks off the Christmas Season every year at the end of the parade.
This cookie might look intimidating but we have broken the icing down to 3 layers of drying time with a few steps during each. The drying time in between each layer is not too long at all so if you are making a few you will hardly notice the drying time in between.
Bake your sugar cookies using our Santa in Sleigh Cookie Cutter. Get our sugar cookie cut out recipe here.
Coarse gold sanding sugar
White sanding sugar (technically its clear so takes on all colors)
Red candy beads or cinnamon red hots
White nonpareils or jimmies (you may call them sprinkles)
SDB Expert Icing Kit (available on our website or at CopperGifts)
SDB Heart Applicator Tweezer (available on our website or at CopperGifts)
Gel paste colors
Red, white, brown and gold Royal icing. Blue or turquoise gel coloring to make just a dash of blue for the eyes
Gold luster dust and small brush (if using)
LAYER 1: Ice the sleigh- we designed the cutter to kind of show the shape where Santa is sitting. Add snowflake sleigh decor then sprinkle with coarse gold sanding sugar. Tuck in sugar edges using a toothpick to make even, especially at the top sleigh where Santa will sit.
Ice the hat cuff and the sleeve cuff in white add sanding sugar. Using a toothpick tuck and straighten that sugar out.
Ice the reindeer antlers in white- again we isolated this shape a bit for ease. Add clear sanding sugar. Ice the reindeer body, add white belly and tail “dashing marks” using the marbleization technique, add red nose.
Using fleshtone royal icing, add the “goggle face” to Santa and his waving hand. For further reference on how Santa will look, check out our icing video this Santa cookie. Let this icing layer settle for about 30 minutes or longer (the longer the better).
LAYER 2: Using red royal icing draw in Santa’s suit. Add heart candy at chest. Outline and fill Santa’s hat, add a snowflake to the pom pom tip.
Using red royal icing, add Rudolph’s harness. Decorate with 3 snowflake candies.
Using gold royal icing, draw in the sleigh runners. Let this icing settle for a few hours. If you want to finish him quicker, let this layer dry for 15 minutes then skip adding the nonpareils on his beard. (If the red doesn’t dry first the nonpariels will stick to his suit. If you add the beard first, it looks tucked into his suit, rather than sitting atop it)
LAYER 3: Mix up a touch of blue icing (1/2 a teaspoon is plenty!)… I do this right on a piece of waxed paper or small small bowl. Use a toothpick to dot the eyes on. Practice first on your paper to see how big you want the eyes to be. I like a small dot.
Brush gold luster dust onto the sleigh runners. For a more opaque effect mix your luster dust with lemon extract or everclear. Learn more about luster dust technique here. Here they are!
As with all our cookies we encourage you to be creative and design your own interpretations as needed. Here are 2 other versions we did so far…
For this variation we used crushed up peppermint and candy stars on the sleigh.
For this version we piped marbleized stripes onto the sleigh and added a candy heart and a white candy bead border. We used jimmies here for Santa’s beard instead on the nonpareils- which a super cute option but a little bit harder to manage in such a small space of icing.
We hope this gets you started on your way to icing this amazing Christmas cookie! Your family and friends will be amazed. Look for our how-to-ice video coming soon (Don’t forget to check out all of our other amazing Holiday cookie videos too!). Merry merry! Xo Dani