This is the fourth in our monthlong series, 12 Days of Cookies, featuring classic and inventive recipes from across the country.

We’re not trying to pull any punches by suggesting that churros can be technically described as cookies.

But in the hands of David Knight, pastry chef of the just-opened Kachina in Denver, Colorado, these deep-fried beauties evoke just as much holiday spirit as a batch of gingerbread men.

Knight makes the churros (see the recipe)--shaped both as batons and also as swirled funnel-cake-like snowflakes--during the holiday season as an homage to the city’s Southwestern roots, serving them with a prickly pear dipping sauce.

But we’ve added them to our stable of sweets because dunking the warm, pillowy, cinnamon-sugar-dusted fried dough into bowls of hot chocolate is a serious improvement over the standard cookies-and-milk routine.

We bet Santa would agree.