Photo: Shutterstock / Courtesy Carson City Chamber
How in the world can Santa possibly eat all the cookies and drink all the milk given to him by the children of Carson City?
He tells us, “I eat as much as I can and store some in my pocket for my long journey flying over the rooftops in the cold weather. I also share with my reindeer for they love cookies as well. Everyone knows when it’s cold outside, there’s nothing like a good cookie!”
We asked Santa how the cookie tradition came about. He put his finger on the side of his nose, scratched his beard and then with a twinkle in his eye told us he first remembered seeing cookies around the 1930’s hanging from stockings along the fireplace so he would be sure to see them after coming down the chimney or if in a hurry on his departure, gathering them for his continued journey to nibble along the way. It was later he saw the plate of cookies by the tree usually accompanied by a glass of milk. You see, not all homes or apartments had chimneys, so he magically entered in other ways – and always enjoyed the cookies by the tree.
He added, “The early 1930’s were a tough time in America because this was the time of the Great Depression and because this was such a hard time, parents wanted to teach their children the importance of gratitude and to give to others. Since money was scarce at that time the baking of cookies and cakes was the way to share with others.” Cookies and milk – and even fresh carrots for his reindeer – is still a great way to thank Santa for remembering them.
Santa still loves being remembered and loves decorated cookies, especially sugar cookies. He also loves chocolate chip cookies filled with lots of chocolate chips and Rudolph especially loves Oreo cookies. If Santa hasn’t downed that glass of cow milk set out with cookies, he may have just finished a tasty and healthy shake from one of his reindeer, for reindeer produce super nourishing milk to give Santa and his elves all the energy they need during the holidays.
This year, why not leave a Nevada-shaped cookie for Santa that will be a pleasant surprise for this jolly old man. Every time he munches on this delicious cookie, he’ll know it came from a grateful child in Carson City. And, don’t forget to leave a few fresh carrots. Santa tells us the carrots are especially loved by Dasher, Donner, and Prancer. And, we all know carrots are good for reindeer eyes to keep them sharp to see every house on his list.
Santa’s Favorite Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter, room temp.
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Cream butter and sugar, add egg, vanilla and almond. Beat in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar.
Chill dough 1 hour. Shape into two round disks for easier handling.
Roll out and use your special Nevada-shaped cookie cutter to make your cookies.
Re-roll your extra dough to make even more cookies to share with family and friends.
This recipe was created by Laura Vance of Carson City who shared the recipe with her good friend Linda Marrone. They have been baking these cookies for Santa and many of their friends for almost 50 years. Santa just might leave an extra candy cane or two when he tastes these cookies!
The Nevada-shaped cookie cutters are available at the Chamber gift shop located at 1900 S. Carson Street on the Nevada State Railroad Museum grounds. Open weekdays, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.. Makes great stocking stuffers as well.