We'd been dithering over what cookies to leave for Santa for the last month so I had to google "Santa's favorite cookie" to see what Santa liked the best. I had been leaning toward making the traditional chocolate chip cookie to leave for Ol' Saint Nick. I mean, in every Christmas movie and children's book we've ever read, the cookie offering doesn't vary much. I found a great post written by Michael Jensen on his own Google search for Santa's fav's. He was a little more thorough in his search than I was and, because he believes in Santa, I think I can trust his research. Santa's favorite comes down to two cookie options: chocolate chip or Oreo.
We talked about possibly combining the two favorites and making Bookies. You can find my recipe for Extreme Bookies here.
One of the kids was dead set against this because it wasn't a "real" cookie. This recipe makes a 9 x 13 pan full of deliciousness. I wasn't sure Santa could eat that much in one trip. I mean, I bet he could if he put his heart into it, but he's busy on Christmas Eve and it wouldn't be polite to expect so much of him.
So we went back to the mixing bowl. One child suggested making a dark chocolate chip cookie. The dark chocolate from the Oreo and the chocolate chips from the chocolate chip cookies. They all liked this idea and I set out to find or create an Oreo inspired chocolate chip cookie. Once we had the base cookie down, which is darn good on its own, we made a frosting reminiscent of an Oreo cookie's filling. Then we dusted them with shaved chocolate and Ho Ho Ho we have a winner.
My eight-yr-old asked why we add salt to sweet things like cookies and frosting. That was a wonderful question! It's kind of like Santa's Naughty and Nice list. No one is perfect (we all have a little naughty in us) and each sweet treat needs a little salt. Naughty adds depth to our lives as we learn from our mistakes, enriches our character as we overcome them, and keeps us humble as we recognize our faults.
The salt does the same thing to the cookies. The tiniest bit of salt will balance out the sweet of the sugar, brown sugar or powdered sugar. It allows us to enjoy the sweet in the cookie by recognizing the difference between the two. The trick is to create a balance that keeps you on the nice list!
And, so that you too can surprise Santa with a delicious cookie on Christmas Eve, and possibly up the number of gifts under the tree (I'm not promisin' just sayin') here is the recipe for:
Santa's Favorite Cookie
makes 24 cookies
1 cup butter at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package semisweet chocolate chips
1 semisweet chocolate bar for shavings
1 cup marshmallow creme
1/4 cup shortening
3 tablespoons milk
3 cups powdered sugar
a pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter, sugar and brown sugar with a hand mixer.
3. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well.
4. Add the flour, cocoa, and salt. Mix until all the dough is a dark chocolate color.
5. Add the chocolate chips and stir in by hand.
6. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until set.
8. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.
9. In a small bowl, mix together the marshmallow creme, shortening, milk, powdered sugar and salt until creamy.
10. Use the back of a spoon to spread some frosting on a cookie.
11. Use a cheese grater to shred the dark chocolate bar over the frosted cookie.
12. Set on a fancy plate and serve to Santa with a cup of milk.