I was doing some casual light reading of Betty Crocker’s “The Big Book of Cookies” (a daily occurrence) when I stumbled upon this recipe for Cinnamon Cardinal Cookies—go Wes! This recipe takes about two hours start-to-finish and makes four dozen crumbly, sugary, cardinal-shaped cookies with a hint of cinnamon. The directions are pretty straightforward and the cardinal design is fun and artsy.

This recipe lets you perfect the skills you learned in preschool. You get to sprinkle each cookie with red, black, and yellow sugar crystals and adorn each with a chocolate chip “eye.” The decorating process is simple but makes baking more fun. At your next Wes-related event, forget the standard, boring sugar cookies; these unique cardinal cookies are the perfect way to show your spirit!


1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/3 cup whipping cream

48 miniature chocolate chips

red, black, and yellow decorating sugar crystals


1. In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.

2. Stir in vanilla.

3. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and cinnamon.

4. On low speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with cream.

5. Divide dough in half and wrap halves in plastic wrap.

6. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

7. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

8. Lightly spray or grease two large cookie sheets.

9. On lightly floured surface, roll half of dough at a time about 1/8 inch thick.

10. Using 3-inch lightly floured cardinal-shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place on cookie sheets about two inches apart.

11. Place one miniature chocolate chip on each cookie for an eye.

12. Sprinkle top of back, crown, tail, and wing of each bird with red sugar crystals.

13. Sprinkle neck and eye of each bird with black sugar crystals.

14. Sprinkle beak of each bird with yellow sugar crystals.

15. Bake 6-8 minutes or until light brown and set.

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