The Great Cookie Exchange of 2012

December 6, 2012 CookingVanilla Life  18 comments

Ok, so this has been a dramatic recipe exchange!

Causing me to dither slightly because I was worried I might not be doing what all the cool kids were doing or doing it right and causing other undue stress.

I can still get all dorky about not being one of the crowd.

Anyway, I went to look for a photo – mine are not made though all the stuff for them is on the kitchen counter – and found a couple that were clearly NOT RIGHT.

So, the recipe is called Santa’s Whiskers and they really are slave drew’s favorite.  They have finely chopped candied red cherries and pecans, which represent Santa’s rosy red cheeks and his twinkling brown eyes, and then you form the dough into a log and roll it in coconut so when you slice it the outside has this frame of coconut representing – you guessed it – Santa’s whiskers.

But one of the recipes I saw in looking for the photo calls for GREEN cherries.  What the fuck would THAT represent, his gangrenous foot?  Clearly, they are misinformed about the whole thing.

Even more disturbingly, it appears many of THEIR Santa’s have gangrenous extremities because many of them use green cherries.

Now I have nothing against green cherries.  I’m sure in their own unnatural way, they’re perfectly nice.

But would YOU eat a bowl of green cherries?  I hope not.  I would not.

So, I am laying down the law here.  Santa’s Whiskers do NOT have green cherries in them, regardless of whatever misguided recipe you might find for them.  If your Santa has a green cast, he is either ill or is about to have something fall off and either way, do you want him in your chimney?

Good, I’m glad I settled that.

Now, the thing is, I found one that is perfect, they don’t even look TOO perfect, it could be my desk as a background, had I not gone through all this, you’d never know I hadn’t made these.


But I didn’t.

But I could have, and here’s how:

1 cup butter flavored shortening, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup red candied cherries – finely chopped
1/2 cup pecans – finely chopped
3/4 cup flaked coconut

In mixing bowl cream together shortening and sugar; blend in milk and vanilla. Stir in flour, cherries and pecans. Form dough into two 8-inch rolls. Roll in flaked coconut to coat outside. Wrap in waxed paper or clear plastic wrap; chill thoroughly. Cut into 1/4-inch slices. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375F until edges are golden, about 12 minutes.

Seriously, when it says finely chopped, it’s not kidding.  If you don’t chop them pretty finely, they make the cookie really hard to cut without it tearing apart.  I also freeze them before I cut them and use a SHARP knife.  But they’re really good cookies.  You could probably use butter, but I use Crisco and it always turns out.

So, now, there you go.

Here’s the list of other folks who are participating today, and remember, people post at different times, so some may be up already, some may hit later today, but check them out.  I intend to.




Autumn in jeans  




Emi J,










Linda Long

Little Monkey

mouse (her recipe here, her blog here

Mrs. Soft Bottom

Ms. Constance

Naughty Kitty 




Ryan Beaumont


selkie, (her recipe here, her blog here)



Striving for Peace




18 comments to The Great Cookie Exchange of 2012

  • lil  says:

    Those look yummy!
    And no, there’s really nothing attractive about green cherries. Things like broccoli and spinach are green. Not cherries. Thanks for the laugh.

    • MsConstanceExplains  says:

      And gangrenous extremities, don’t forget those. Those are green, too, I feel certain.

  • Jz  says:

    The green cherry is a completely ridiculous concept. Good for you in eschewing it entirely!
    This looks fabulous and fun. And I love the stuff that you roll and chill. Make your mess one day and do the “fresh baked” in relative ease…

    Thanks for joining us!
    (And in case you weren’t sure, “the cool kids” are the ones who play along! So obviously, you’re IN!)

    • MsConstanceExplains  says:

      Actually, that whole make-one-day-and-bake-another is one of my favorite concepts. They both create some mess, but totally different kinds of mess.

      The making is flour and grease and dirty bowls and beaters and ingredients all over and the floor always has to be swept after – though the dogs will lick up brown sugar pretty happily.

      The baking is cookie sheets and cooling racks and tins for the baked cookies and a rotating production line of preparing trays of cookies for the oven, baking, cooling and storing. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat.

      I find it MUCH easier to do them in stages, but I do have to bake a few when I make them because if slave drew came home knowing I’d been MAKING cookies and there were none baked… Well, I believe the angels might weep at his disappointment. Just saying.

  • striving for Peace  says:

    they look yummy

    and yeah — green cherries are weirdness


    • MsConstanceExplains  says:

      Thank you, I am glad you see the wisdom of my anti-green-cherry stand.

      It’s not that I dislike green cherries, in their place. You know, so long as they stay on THEIR side of the cookie sheet. As long as they don’t expect to have equal representation in MY cookies.

      And, of course, so long as my daughter doesn’t bake with them.

  • sin  says:

    Wow, I would have thought wherever you were would define the cool crowd. I guess we never get past that do we?

    And clearly you’ve given those green cherries a great deal of thought. I would not eat a bowl of them, though back when I was little and my mom used to make fruitcake I probably at a lot.


    • MsConstanceExplains  says:

      But fruitcake is TOTALLY different. TOTALLY.

      And I have a fabulous recipe I might have to post at some point that is a pseudo-fruitcake made with the orange slice candy. My ex’s mother used to make it, and then I did, and it was very yummy. Green cherries in there would be ok, too.

      Pseudo fruitcake sounds like what Freud made.

  • aisha  says:

    They look delicious! And i am anti-green cherries too, of course.



    • MsConstanceExplains  says:

      I’d expect nothing less of you. Green cherries are an abomination visited by the war on Santa’s Whiskers!

  • MsConstanceExplains  says:

    Oh, I should add this makes a crap ton of cookies. I don’t really know how many because I just make them until they’re gone, but I’d guess between four and six dozen, depending on how thick you cut them.

    But if you have more than you want now, they live in the freezer pretty happily for a few months, anyway. I’ve baked the last of them in April or so and they were still just as jolly as they were in December.

    And yes, green cherries are unnatural and should be declared off limits for these cookies.

    Though, honestly, to be fair, if you wanted to put something else in them – dried apricots, for instance, or dried pineapple, I bet they’d be pretty good, too. They just wouldn’t be Santa’s Whiskers.

  • Sassy  says:

    What a great name for a holiday cookie!
    And they sound delicious. Thanks for sharing! -Sassy

    • MsConstanceExplains  says:

      Thanks! They really are a good cookie, and it’s enough bother to make you feel like you DID something – chopping those cherries finely is kind of a pain, for instance, but not so much that you won’t make them because of it.

      And really, is anything with coconut bad?

  • Wordwytch  says:

    They look yummy! And I love the comments about the green cherries!

    • MsConstanceExplains  says:

      Green cherries are fine, I have no problem with green cherries, so long as they don’t insist on putting their greenness right in my face, you know, so long as they stay in the back of the cherry bus, as it were.


  • Penelope  says:

    Hi MsConstance, I just wanted to pop in and say how yum your cookies look and sound (and doubtless smell and taste). That, and I am glad to have found such a nifty blog thanks to the cookie exchange. Love your style! 🙂

    P.S. Sorry for being contrary but green cherries are okay with me. They seem like little mysterious jewels. Edible, mysterious jewels. And they also remind me of a little bright green Lego brick and thus of kidhood. But green cherry mileage varies, I know!

    • MsConstanceExplains  says:

      Thanks so much, Penelope. The cookies are really good, and if you decide you want to make them with the anathema that IS green cherries, I will generously overlook it. 🙂

      Thanks for the kind words and I’m glad to have you aboard, as it were. I browsed your blog as well, and I’ll be back.

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>