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Santa’s Whiskers

Santa's Whiskers

Santa’s Whiskers

0 from 0 votes
Santa's Whiskers
5.0 rating based on 12,345 ratings
5/5 (13)
Course: Refrigerator CookiesDifficulty: Easy



Slice-and-bake refrigerator cookies with chopped cherries and pecans, rolled in flaked coconut. Festive and easy!


  • 1 cup butter or shortening *, softened

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup red candied cherries, finely chopped (you can also mix red and green cherries, and increase the amount up to 1 cup)

  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

  • 1 cup flaked coconut


  • In a large mixer bowl beat butter till softened. Add sugar and beat till fluffy. Add milk and vanilla and beat well. Add flour and beat until well mixed. Stir in cherries and pecans. Shape into three 7″ rolls. Roll in coconut to coat. Wrap and chill for several hours. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut into 1/4″ thick slices. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 12 minutes or until done. Remove and cool.


  • From “Homemade Cookies Cook Book” (1975) by Better Homes and Gardens.
  • * We previously had three nearly identical cookie recipes on this site with the same name. One used butter, one used shortening, and one used both red and green cherries dredged in flour. One of them recommended 1 cup of cherries instead of 3/4 cup. You decide! I’ve condensed them into one recipe, here. You can find out more about the difference between butter and shortening here, but in a nutshell,
    butter spreads more, gets crispier and tastes better. Shortening bakes up higher and softer but doesn’t have the flavor of butter.
  • Reviews below are for the original 1975 BHG Santa’s Whiskers recipe with butter and 3/4 cups cherries. For the record, on the previous version of this website, the shortening version also had 4.9 stars (out of 5) with 13 reviews.


Name & Location
(example: Sue in LA)

I have the original cookbook but the printing is fading out and hard to read. I have made these cookies since 1976 and they are the BEST.
- Nancy in Tn

best xmas cookie i have had or at any other time, make them every year
- A Baker

These are wonderful cookies. Easy to make too! The recipe made exactly 60 cookies. They look so pretty on a tray with other cookies. I used both red and green cherries. Will definitely make again. Thanks for sharing.
- Bobbi

Great cookie...it adds a nice color cookie to the plated variety of cookies so pretty. Plus this cookie tastes great and so different from the other cookies.
- Carel

Loooove these cookies! Family favorite every year!
- Nova

My family has done a cookie exchange every Christmas since 1987 and I always make Santa's Whiskers. They are definitely a FAVORITE!!
- Barbara

This has been a family favorite for generations and my husbands favorite of all the cookies I bake for the holidays, usually 20 or better different kinds. This one I have to bake when he is not at home or he would have half of them eaten before the get to the frezzer. I use both red and green candied cherries and coarsly chop the pecans
- Annalisa

Been making these for years ...the my most requested cookie from my family
- dana

I ate this cookie at a church and was so impressed with the flavor and taste. I love cherries, pecans and coconut. I could not believe they were all there together! No one seem to know who baked them. What a shame, she would be giving the recipe out to manypeople. Thanks for providing me with it,
- A Baker

I have made these cookies for years and they are by far a family favorite.
- Michelle

I made these cookies for a cookie exchange at work. I was skepticle at first never having made them before, but also wanting something new. THEY ARE FABULOUS and everyone loved them.
- Diane

My mother-in-law made these cookies 40 years ago and I loved them. I've been making them ever since. I use rum flavoring with green candied cherries and vanilla with the red cherries. They look great, taste great and make a very nice hostess gift when combined with other Xmas cookies.
- A Baker

This is the first year I made these cookies and they were a hit. They are absolutely delicious and the taste of the nuts and the green/red glazed cherries in the buttery dough were outstanding. My friends are asking me to bake these again. They looked great on the cookie platter too so if youre looking for different - these are the ticket! Yummy!
- Jennifer
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