Thursday, December 17, 2015

Reindeer Gingerbread Cookies


Let the Christmas cookie bonanza begin!

I am officially on vacation. The hubby and I are staying with his cousin at his lake house in Marion, IL. I have no housework, no agenda, and now, no cookies to worry about! I spent the entire weekend like a baking fiend. There was no rest for the wicked. But the hubby shipped a majority of them yesterday morning to our far distant relatives, and we handed out the rest. The leftovers were brought to Illinois to be enjoyed by the hubby's cousin's wife because she is almost 8 months pregnant. She was very appreciative to see the cookies and Christmas Crunch Popcorn yesterday.  And, let me tell you, this year's cookie selections are better than ever.

Like, seriously. The hubby told me so :-)

Let's kick of my series (yes, there will be 4 cookie recipes I share with y'all) of cookies with these super-cute Reindeer Gingerbread Cookies!


Didn't they turn out cute? I was uber-pleased with the final results. My dessert-decorating past came in handy this year. Even still, with serious skills (ha!) under my belt, there was a learning curve to the decorating. My first cookie looked pretty sad next to my last.


And, really, in the end, who cares how they look? It's how they taste! Let's go over how to make them-


First off, your dough. It's going to be dry and crumbly. And that's ok. The dough will actually be moist enough that when you start to bring it together, it will allow you to do that.


Divide the dough into 2 discs and then refrigerate. I made my dough and let it refrigerate overnight, with very successful results. The recipe says allow the dough to come to room temperature in 20 minutes, but my dough was really hard to roll out until it had warmed for about 40 minutes. Save yourself some elbow grease and frustration, and let the dough come to room temperature for a good 45 minutes.


They come out of the oven smelling all wonderful and perfectly crisp.


I used green Dots candy for the holly leaves. It took me some time to figure out how to cut them to look like leaves. Here's what I did: I cut the dots in half lengthwise, to form what looked like 2 little squares. On one side, cut a tiny amount of the corners off. On the opposite end, cut the corners into a point. So one side has a flat end and the opposite side comes to a point. They end up looking kind of like little arrowheads. It's hard to describe, but I got the hang out if after my 6th or 7th gumdrop.


I googled "Reindeer Gingerbread Cookies" and used this picture as decorating guide.


These might look fancy, but trust me, easy peasy. I think these would be huge hit with the kids.


There you have it friends. The first Christmas cookie of the season. Ho ho ho!

I'm going to sit back and enjoy the rest of the holiday season now. The work is done. The baking is done. The Christmas shopping is... uh, well, there might still be some work to do. But, we are away on vacation which leaves lots of time for shopping. Something tells me we'll be done before we head home :-)

Have a great day everyone!

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients (makes 35-48 cookies):

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temp
3/4 cup molasses (sub dark corn syrup in a pinch!)
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

for decorating- Red Hots (noses, holly berry), Green gumdrops (holly leaves), white and black cookie icing (icing that gets hard for the eyes and horns)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Beat in molasses.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine. Begin to beat dry ingredients into wet until combined.
3. With your hands, bring the dough together. Form into 2 discs, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 350º. Set discs on counter to come to room temperature. When dough is ready, roll it out to 1/4" thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheets.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Cool completely before decorating. Store in an airtight container.

Printable Recipe


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Linked to: Create It Thursday, Thank Goodness It's Thursday, Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party, Snickerdoodle Sunday, Treasure Box Tuesday

2 comments:

  1. These are so adorable! I never would have thought of using the gingerbread man cookie cutter in this way.

    Happy Christmas Holidays ~ FlowerLady

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    Replies
    1. Thanks FlowerLady! I have to admit, I saw an idea for this a couple of months ago, when I was planning the cookies, and I knew I had to make them!

      Merry Christmas! I hope you have a happy holiday! :-)

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