Santa’s Trash Cookies: A Festive and Flavorful Delight

The Origin of Santa’s Trash Cookies

Santa’s Trash Cookies, also known as Reindeer Food Cookies, are believed to have originated as a fun and creative way to use up leftover ingredients from holiday baking. The concept behind these cookies is that Santa and his reindeer enjoy snacking on a mishmash of sweet and savory treats. With their colorful and varied ingredients, Santa’s Trash Cookies capture the essence of Christmas magic and create a sense of anticipation for the holiday season.

Ingredients Required for Santa’s Trash Cookies

To make Santa’s Trash Cookies, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup crushed potato chips
  • 1 cup pretzel pieces
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows

Step-by-Step Recipe Guide

Step 1: Preparing the Cookie Dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Step 2: Adding the “Trash” Ingredients

  1. In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined.
  3. Fold in the rolled oats, crushed potato chips, pretzel pieces, chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows. The dough will be thick and chunky.

Step 3: Baking the Cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Drop rounded tablespoons of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
  4. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 4: Decorating the Cookies

  1. Once the cookies are completely cooled, you can decorate them with festive sprinkles, powdered sugar, or drizzle them with melted chocolate for an extra touch of sweetness.

Tips for Making Perfect Santa’s Trash Cookies

  • Make sure the butter is softened but not melted for the best texture in the cookie dough.
  • Mix the dry ingredients and the “trash” ingredients gently to avoid breaking up the marshmallows and chocolate chips.
  • If you prefer a chewier cookie, slightly underbake them by reducing the baking time by a minute or two.
  • Experiment with different “trash” ingredients like chopped nuts, dried fruit, or crushed candy canes for added texture and flavor.

Fun Variations and Additions

  • White Chocolate and Cranberry: Add white chocolate chips and dried cranberries to the dough for a festive and tangy twist.
  • Peanut Butter Lover’s: Incorporate peanut butter chips and chopped peanuts into the dough for a nutty and creamy flavor combination.
  • Holiday Spice: Add a teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg to the dry ingredients for a warm and cozy holiday flavor.

Serving and Presentation Ideas

  • Serve Santa’s Trash Cookies on a festive platter or in holiday-themed cookie jars for a charming presentation.
  • Pair these delightful cookies with a glass of cold milk or hot cocoa for a comforting and indulgent treat.
  • Package them in decorative cookie tins or cellophane bags tied with colorful ribbons to give as edible gifts during the holiday season.

The Perfect Treat for Christmas

Santa’s Trash Cookies are the perfect addition to your Christmas celebrations. These unique and flavorful cookies bring a sense of fun and magic to any holiday gathering. Whether you’re leaving them out for Santa and his reindeer or sharing them with loved ones, Santa’s Trash Cookies are sure to spread joy and delight this festive season.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter? Yes, you can use salted butter in this recipe. However, remember to reduce the amount of salt called for in the recipe to maintain the right balance of flavors.

2. Can I freeze the cookie dough before baking? Yes, you can freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months. Just make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container before freezing. When you’re ready to bake, let the dough thaw in the refrigerator overnight before proceeding with the recipe.

3. Can I substitute ingredients based on dietary restrictions? Absolutely! Feel free to make substitutions based on dietary restrictions or personal preferences. You can explore gluten-free flours, dairy-free alternatives, or use vegan chocolate chips to accommodate different dietary needs.

4. How long can I store Santa’s Trash Cookies? These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. However, for the best taste and texture, it is recommended to consume them within a few days.

5. Can I double the recipe? Yes, you can easily double or halve the recipe depending on the quantity you desire. Just make sure to adjust the baking time accordingly and keep an eye on the cookies as they bake.


Santa’s Trash Cookies are a whimsical and delicious treat that capture the spirit of the holiday season. These delightful cookies, packed with a mix of sweet and savory ingredients, are sure to bring joy to your Christmas celebrations. With their easy-to-follow recipe and endless variations, you can customize these cookies to suit your taste and dietary preferences. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and embark on a delightful baking adventure with Santa’s Trash Cookies. Spread the holiday cheer and create cherished memories with every scrumptious bite. Happy baking and Merry Christmas!

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