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These adorable and easy reindeer cookies make use of a store bought shortcut for a super simple and super giftable Christmas cookie.
If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that this time of year is BUSY. We are all rushing around, trying to do all the things and make all the special memories.
Add in the pressure of finding the perfect gift, and cooking a gigantic meal and you have a recipe (hehehe, get it?) for disaster!
But there is a better way.
You can totally tackle your gift list, get your baking done, AND make special memories by making super simple Christmas cookies and gifting them to your loved ones.
Oh, and without going absolutely insane in the process.
Reindeer Cookies are Perfect for Gifting
I put together Christmas cookie trays/tins every single year, and I include a great variety of seasonal goodies like my chocolate covered pretzels, Christmas Oreos, Rice Krispies wreaths, peppermint bark, buckeye candy, and a hot chocolate bomb for each member of the family.
Not only does this give me the opportunity to get in the kitchen and bake (which I love, obviously), but it also gives me easy gift ideas that are always sure to be loved by all those who receive them.
Because you just can’t go wrong with sweet treats, right??
Pssst… Don’t forget some homemade vanilla extract to go along with those homemade, consumable gifts!
Easiest Christmas Cookies Ever
These easy reindeer cookies are a new addition this year, but they may just be one of the easiest recipes yet! There is absolutely no baking involved, and we make use of packaged Milano or Nutter Butter cookies for this reindeer cookies recipe.
All we need to do is dress them up, give them some holiday flair, and turn them into adorable reindeer. This is done with some candy eyes, pretzels (for the antlers), and red candy noses.
If you would like more easy recipes that use store bought shortcuts, you just have to try my graham cracker toffee bark, Christmas oreos, or cake batter puppy chow (with many variations, including candy cane, pumpkin spice, and brownie batter).
How to Make Reindeer Cookies
Making these adorable Christmas reindeer cookies is incredibly easy! You won’t even need to turn the oven on, which makes for a great last minute gift idea.
To get started, just gather together your ingredients all in one spot:
•oblong or oval shaped cookies like Milano or Nutter Butter cookies (I prefer the Milano if I know someone has a peanut allergy)
•something to help you stick your candy elements to the cookies like white vanilla frosting, white chocolate, or white candy melts. If you opt for frosting, I recommend my easy royal icing or vanilla buttercream.
•classic small pretzels to give your reindeer “antlers”
•red candies for a cute Rudolph-inspired nose (cinnamon hard candies or red m&m’s work great)
Preparing For Decorating
Once you have your ingredients gathered together for these cutie Rudolph cookies, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
This makes for an ultra easy clean up and prevents any sticking of your cookies to the baking sheet.
Then, if you have selected a “glue” for your reindeer cookies with pretzels that needs to be melted, do so now.
Add your melted chocolate, melted candy melts, or white vanilla frosting to a piping bag with a very tiny bit of the corner snipped off.
Fit it with a size 1 or size 2 piping tip, OR use a small cookie decorating bottle fitted with a size 2 piping tip.
Work One Body Part at a Time
I highly recommend working on one body part at a time, moving through all of the cookies before starting on the next body part.
Starting with the antlers, pipe some of your “glue” to the bottom half of the back (on the flat side, if there is one) of your pretzel.
Gently press the pretzels onto the top of the cookie. Repeat with all of your remaining cookies.
Now, moving onto the eyes and nose, pipe two small dots in the center of the cookie and one near the bottom.
Gently press the eyes into the frosting or melted chocolate dots in the center of the cookie, and then immediately add the red candy nose.
Allow Your Reindeer Christmas Cookies to Set
Allow your cookies to rest for about 30 minutes. This allows the frosting or melted chocolate to set up and hold the candy and pretzels in place so you won’t have any odd (or scary) looking reindeer cookies!
Storing and Enjoying Your Reindeer Cookies
Once your cookies have set up, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks (but I am sure they won’t last that long). Their long storage makes them ideal for shipping, gifting, or making ahead for parties.
You’re going to love gifting (and eating!) these adorable reindeer cookies with pretzel antlers, and I’m sure they will become a fun holiday tradition for years to come.
They are particularly delightful with a generous glass of eggnog, some super creamy hot cocoa, or a cup of hot coffee.
Now that you have this ultra easy recipe for reindeer cookies in your back pocket, you won’t need to worry about those last minute party invites ever again.
Just pick up a package of Milano (or Nutter Butter) cookies, some pretzels, candy eyes and a few red candies, and whip up a batch of these festive favorites!
You could also totally bring cookies from the bakery– I promise I won’t tell (as long as you bring some winter sangria along with them)!
- 12 Milano cookies, Nutter Butter cookies, or other oblong/oval shaped cookies
- 2 ounces white vanilla frosting, white chocolate, or white candy melts1
- 12 small pretzels
- 24 candy eyes
- 12 red candies2
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, then place the cookies spaced evenly apart on the baking sheet. Set aside.
- Prepare your white "glue" of choice (meaning if you need to melt white chocolate or white candy melts, do so now).
- Add the melted candies or chocolate to a piping bag with just a very tiny bit of the corner snipped off, a piping bag fitted with a size 1 or size 2 piping tip, or my favorite option, a small cookie decorating bottle fitted with a size 2 piping tip.
- I find it easiest to do one body part at a time, starting with the antlers. Pipe a small amount of "glue" onto the bottom half of the back (preferably the flatter side, if there is one) of a pretzel, then gently press it onto the top of a cookie. When all of the cookies have antlers, move onto the eyes and noses.
- Pipe two small dots near the center of each cookie for eyes, and pipe one small dot at the very bottom of each cookie for the nose. Then, gently press one candy eye onto each dot at the center of the cookie and one red candy onto the dot at the bottom of the cookie.
- Allow "glue" to set before serving, about 30 minutes. Store leftovers covered at room temperature for 2 weeks.
- Frosting: there are several options for this ingredient. You just want some sort of “glue” that will harden. I suggest my easy royal icing, vanilla buttercream, white chocolate, or white candy melts. Any of these will work perfectly.
- Red candies: I used cinnamon hard candies, but you can also use red m&ms or something larger like Sixlets.
All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.