Santa may leave you something extra under the tree when he sees (and tastes) these adorable reindeer cookies.
Aside from being ridiculously cute, these little treats are so clever.
When you’re in the kitchen whipping up your usual gingerbread men this holiday season, try making an extra batch of cookies using the same gingerbread man cookie cutter. Then, flip them upside down. With a little creative decorating and some strategically placed icing, the gingerbread cookie cutter can do double duty by also making reindeer-shaped cut-outs.
Start with a basic gingerbread dough, which is chock-full of cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. This one from The Pioneer Woman makes about 24 cookies.
Once your little gingerbread men are out of the oven and have cooled down, it’s time to decorate. Dawn Garnette at Jelly Bean Trail suggests whipping up some royal icing with powdered sugar, meringue powder, vanilla extract and water.
Using yellow, blue and red food coloring, mix two shades of brown—a dark, chocolatey brown and a light tan—to help define the reindeer’s face and antlers. You may also want to mix up a little red icing for some embellishments.
With the tan icing, cover the gingerbread man’s head and arms—this will be the reindeer’s nose and ears. Use a toothpick to pull the edges of the ears to a point.
Then, using the dark brown icing, draw antlers on the gingerbread man’s legs. Add two eyes, a nose and ear details. You can also make a little reindeer smirk below the nose.
You can leave the reindeer’s nose brown, or add a red M&M for more of a Rudolph effect.
Garnette also has instructions for making “girly” reindeer by adding a red bow on top of their heads with red icing.
Other bakers have also jazzed up their reindeer cookies with pretzels for antlers.
Once you’ve satisfied your sweet tooth, move on to these reindeer handprint ornaments or reindeer terracotta pots, which are perfect craft projects to do with your kids.
[h/t: Good Housekeeping]