Monday, December 24, 2012

The Reindeer Cookies

Last night, we made the peanut butter reindeer cookies 
that I keep seeing all over Pinterest.


I adapted the recipe from
Baker Girl.
(who used the peanut butter cookie recipe from Jif)

Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies

3/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
3 tablespoons of milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
Chocolate covered mini pretzels for antlers
Chocolate chips for eyes (or mini brown M&Ms if you can find them)
Red M&Ms for the nose

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Combine the brown sugar, peanut butter, shortening, milk and vanilla in a large bowl.  Beat at medium speed until well blended.  Add the egg and beat until just blended.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Add to the creamed mixture at low speed and mix just until blended.

Form dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and pinch the bottom of the ball to make a reindeer shaped head and gently flatten with your hand.  Space cookies an inch or two apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes or just until they begin to brown.

Remove the cookies from the oven, wait a minute and then press two mini chocolate pretzels into the tops for the antlers.  Then press two chocolate chips (or mini brown M&M's) for the eyes and use one red M&M for the nose.

Put the baking sheet in the fridge for a few minutes to set (you will see why below!)  and then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to continue cooling.

Makes about 2 dozen.

(The original recipe says to use 1 inch balls of dough which will give you 40 cookies.)  I liked using 1 1/2 inch balls of dough because I needed more room to stick the antlers in.)

Overall, they came out okay, but I had some trouble keeping the reindeer antlers from falling over.  On the first batch, I stuck the "antlers"in the cookies as soon as they came out of the oven.  The chocolate melted and they fell backwards.  It helped to wait just a minute before pressing in the antlers.
A bit of a mess!

I kept thinking about the scene from one of my favorite Bill Murray movies, Scrooged.  Bill Murray's character was working on a movie set and one of the workers walked over asking how to attach antlers onto the live mice...

Worker - "I can't get the antlers glued to this little guy.  We tried Crazy Glue but it didn't work."

Frank (Bill Murray) - "Did you try staples?!!"

Love that movie.  Love Bill Murray.  Anyway, staples wouldn't exactly help these cookies but I did put them in the fridge as soon as I finished assembling them and that helped.

And most of them turned out okay!

Notice there are barely any dark chocolate ones?  Well, I kinda have a bit of a dark chocolate obsession, and I dug into the dark chocolate covered pretzels while driving back from the store...I think I need some sort of intervention.  I may need to do a chocolate detox when Christmas is over!

Needless to say, we ran out of chocolate pretzels,
so we made due with some pretzel sticks.  
Not as cute, but they got the job done!
(But I did have a cute little helper with this batch!)
I guess maybe they do look a little like aliens!  Oh well!

My baking is now done and I just have to make an appetizer for tonight and a side dish for Christmas Day.  I am so glad I am not hosting!  I fulfilled my holiday hosting duties on Thanksgiving!  Good thing, because I don't think I could handle one more responsibility this time of year!

Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday!  I have enjoyed another year of blogging with you and look forward to more fun in 2013!  I feel so blessed to have gotten to know so many of you out there.  It has been a tough year in so many ways and the blogging community has been a wonderful source of comfort as well as a perfect way to escape this sometimes insane world we live in.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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