Treasured Recipes: Santa’s Whiskers

Warning: Not low fat.  Not low cal.  Not meant to be healthy, per se.

I made these to take to a cookie swap over the weekend and got great compliments!  They’re not your typical coconut macaroon or chocolate or oatmeal cookies that many people make.  These are a delicious Christmas treat.  Portion controlled – which is why I love to make cookies.  If you don’t eat 40 (or even 4).  I found this recipe in an old cookbook passed down to me from my MIL, which had belonged to my husband’s grandmother – Treasured Recipes (Lubbock Christian College Associates, 1975).  I modified the recipe to replace the candied cherries with dried tart cherries and used unsweetened coconut inside the cookies to keep them from being cloyingly sweet.  Still, they are sweet and sort of melt in your mouth, while the coconut gives them a nice chew.  I might have eaten more than my share.

It was a pleasure to make them and think of the fact that Wilma might have also made them.  Unless she hated coconut like my husband.  In that case she would have never made them.

Santa's Whiskers


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs vanilla
  • 2 Tbs milk
  • 2 1/2 cups of sifted AP flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup dried tart cherries
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy.  Add the egg, vanilla and milk and blend on low until incorporated.  Scrape down to completely incorporate ingredients as needed.  Slowly add flour with mixer on low.  Once all flour is incorporated, add the pecans, cherries and unsweetened coconut. Once everything is incorporated well, roll into balls by the teaspoon full, then roll in the sweetened coconut.  Press the coconut into the balls gently if needed.  Place cookies 2″ apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone baking mat.  Bake for 10 minutes, allowing the coconut to brown slightly, but not to burn.  Allow to cool completely on the sheet pan, then store in an airtight container.

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