Like most people, Christmas in my family is full of traditions. We keep to the rituals we know and love. Getting together on Christmas day for a big turkey dinner with stuffing and gravy, sweet potatoes and glazed carrots. From my Dad's side of the family, we always have a classic British dessert of plum pudding soaked in rum and lit on fire.
On my Mom's side, our Granny Harper, made delicious Santa Whirl Cookies every year. Shortbread cookies that have a nice crunch because she added oats to the dough and rolled them in sugar sprinkles. After making the dough, Annett or Granny to us grandchildren, rolled it into a log, wrapped it in wax paper and kept it in the fridge until guests came over. And she could count on family and friends stopping by.
While she passed away two years now, she's always on our minds during the holidays just as all family who are no longer with us are. So, to keep family traditions alive, here is my grandmother's favorite Christmas cookie recipe. Perfect with milk, tea or coffee and perfect to leave out for Santa Claus on Christmas eve.
Santa Whirl Cookies (makes 3 dozen)
1 cup butter
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick rolled oats
colored sugar, red and green
Blend together the butter and sifted icing sugar. Next, add flour, oats, salt and vanilla and combine until it makes a nicely formed dough.
On the counter top, roll the dough into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle colored sugar onto the counter and roll the log in the sugar to coat the outside.
Wrap the dough in wax paper and chill in the fridge for about an hour (or until ready to bake). Bake on the middle rack at 300-325 degrees for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the oven, taking care not to brown.