Cutest Creative Christmas Cookies
Everyone loves a good peanut butter or sugar cookie during the holidays, and you can create a version of these classic favorites that will leave a smile on everyone’s face. Plus, they are easy enough to make with the kids!
Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies
3/4 c. peanut butter
1 1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. shortening
3 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
Chocolate-covered mini pretzels
Mini brown M&Ms
Regular-sized red M&Ms
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Combine brown sugar, peanut butter, shortening, milk, and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Add egg; beat until just blended. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended.
Form dough into 1-inch balls. To make reindeer-shaped cookies, pinch the bottom of the ball slightly to form a point, then gently flatten with your hand. Place cookies about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until cookies are just set or just beginning to brown.
Remove from oven and immediately (and gently) press two mini pretzels into the tops of the cookies for the reindeer’s antlers. Press two mini brown M&Ms in for the eyes and one red M&M for the nose (Or use any other color. Some of mine ended up with green noses. They might be South Pole reindeer! )
Allow to cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack or paper towel to cool completely. Makes about 40 reindeer cookies.
Melting Snowman Cookies
Your favorite sugar cookie dough
1 bag large marshmallows
Various icing colors for decorating
Roll out sugar cookies onto a lightly floured surface until 1/3-1/2 inch thick. Cut out with a large round cookie cutter. Bake according to directions and cool completely. Quick tip: You can also buy large round sugar cookies or slice and bake them using pre-made dough!
Once the cookies are cool, load them up with the cookie icing and spread it around with the back of a spoon, letting some dribble over the edge for a “puddle” look. I prefer to stick the marshmallow on at this point as it tends to stick easier.
Spray a microwave safe plate with cooking spray, and place marshmallows on the plate. Set the microwave for 30 seconds, but watch the marshmallows as they cook. Stop the microwave as soon as the marshmallows start to get puffy. Do not let them double in size.
Spray your fingers with cooking spray or grease them up with shortening and carefully pull the marshmallows off, by the base, and set them on top of the frosted cookies. You may push in the tops very gently. You may need to use a little icing on the bottom of the marshmallow to get it to stick if the icing on the cookie has become too dry.
Decorate as you like with Wilton frosting or your own homemade frosting! I was pleasantly surprised at how yummy the Betty Crocker cookie icing was! Very surprised!
Homemade Cookie Frosting
This dries hard and shiny. It is very pretty and easy to store. This frosting layers well, just make sure and let the base coat dry VERY thoroughly first. (It takes a full 8 hours or overnight to dry entirely. I wait 1 hour in between applying the base coat and decorating, letting them dry overnight.) While the base coat is drying, tint the remaining icing into different colors. The amount of icing you will need depends on the number of cookies you decide to bake or buy. The recipe below will ice about a dozen cookies.
1 c. confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp. milk
2 tsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. almond extract
Assorted food coloring
In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup. Be patient and get it the right consistency! It should drip slightly off of cookies, but for decorating it should be stiffer and you will have to adjust it with more powdered sugar. This is easy to do.
If you don’t want to bother with the above icing step, no problem, Betty Crocker and Wilton both make a powdered icing base that you can whip up in minutes. Then use decorator frosting in the little tubes or cookie decorating pens.
Tip: Add your favorite extract flavoring to your favorite cookie dough mix. It makes them taste homemade. You can also add lemon and/or orange rind with orange or lemon extract. So yummy!