These might very well be the cutest Christmas cookies I've ever seen.
... and the adorable fat little faces.
It doesn't get any more festive or Christmasy than this. They're perfect for taking to a Christmas party if you need something fun, fast, and easy to make (unless, like me, you run out of both red M&Ms and chocolate-covered pretzels, but that's beside the point.).
I made these using just regular peanut butter cookies because I was having a craving only peanut butter could fix, but they would work just as well with sugar cookies... or even gingerbread!
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon 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. Space cookies about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until 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 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.
Source: Peanut butter cookie recipe from Jif.