The tradition of leaving something out for Santa Claus is ancient, going back to Norse mythology, and seen across cultures with slight variations. In the United States it seems to have become popular during the Great Depression. Intended as a lesson to youngsters during a time of privation, leaving precious cookies and milk out was an exercise in sharing.
Today milk and cookies are the still the preferred offering for Santa, or those who help him carry out his herculean task on Christmas Eve. And for those who agree with us that anything sweet can be made more enjoyable with the addition of something savory… here are 3 recipes for holiday treats.
Santa is a man with an appetite, which we assume includes bacon. These hearty oatmeal cookies are studded with crumbled bacon, toasted pecans, and two kinds of apples, then sprinkled with maple sugar for an extra dimension of flavor. They’re sweet and salty, chewy and crisp – and yes, they can be enjoyed with a glass of milk.
Every Christmas when Santa stops in Albuquerque, he finds biscochitos, which are traditional Southwestern cookies made from lard and flavored with anise and orange zest. Since these are also common flavors in Southwest France, we put our own spin on biscochitos by making them with duck fat. Use Christmas tree cookie cutters this time of year, or some appropriate shape. Honestly, a sip of Armagnac might be nice with these.
As if doughnuts weren’t tempting enough, these tender old-fashioned’s are brought to next level goodness with a creamy maple glaze and crispy bacon. No, it’s not a cookie, but it will make you forget all about cookies. Serve with hot cocoa or cider, and save some for breakfast on Christmas morning. Santa can’t eat the whole batch.
Fun Fact: In France the children leave a glass of wine for Père Noël (but of course!), and fill their shoes with carrots, hay and other treats for his donkey, Gui (French for “mistletoe”).