December 1, 2011

Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies

Happy December everyone! Can you believe it's almost 2012 already - and Christmas is right around the corner?! I had some of my friends and family over to my house for a Christmas cookie party where I served a few of my favorite Holiday goodies! If you missed the post (that includes a recipe for my Great Grandma's Melt-In-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies!) you can read it here! I have to admit this wasn't my idea! I saw a picture of these little guys on pinterest and I knew instantly I had to make them!

They loved all the cookies I made, but this one was hands down one of the favorites! It takes a little time and effort, but it's worth it! Your friends and family will love these cookies and will see the love in all the little details!

*Makes 18-24 cookies (depending on the size you make them)*


  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Earth Balance Peanut Butter)
  • 1 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • Chocolate Covered Pretzels (directions below)
  • Chocolate Chips (for the eyes)
  • Red Sprinkles (for the nose)

Making Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Set up a double boiler on your stove-top by filling a large pot with water and setting a glass bowl on top. Turn your burner onto medium-high and pour a 11.5 oz bag of chocolate chips into the glass bowl. Stir consistently until the steam from the boiling water melts the chocolate.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray the parchment paper with cooking oil. Throw a few small or mini pretzels into the melted chocolate and cover them with the chocolate. Lift them out with a fork and gently tap them on the side of the glass bowl (over the chocolate...) to shake of the excess chocolate. Place them on the parchment paper to cool. Once you've done all of the pretzels you'll need (you'll need about 48...if you have extra they make a yummy snack!) place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator to cool completely.

To make the nose - I used my really cool dessert decorator to pipe out small little balls of melted chocolate (use the same chocolate you used for the pretzels) onto a parchment greased, parchment paper lined cookie sheet. You could easily do the same thing with a small 1/4 tsp. Once you've created enough chocolate noses, shake some red sugar sprinkles on top to make that classic Rudolph nose! Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator to cool completely.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Beat peanut butter, brown sugar, shortening, non-dairy milk, vanilla, and applesauce in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until well blended.

In a separate, medium sized bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients at low speed. Mix until the dough is just blended.

Form the dough into one inch balls. To make reindeer-shaped cookies, pinch the bottom of the ball slightly to form a small point, then gently flatten with your hand. Space cookies about 2 inches apart on a greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 7 to 8 minutes until the cookies begin to brown. 

Remove from the oven and immediately (and gently) press two chocolate-covered pretzels into the tops of the cookies for the reindeer's antlers. Press two chocolate chips upside down (pointy top going inwards so the flat part of the chocolate chip is showing) in for the eyes and one chocolate oval that you've made for the nose!

Allow to cool for 2 minutes before picking up or serving! 


  1. I am going to make these with my daughter! Matthew I just love your site.

  2. Aww..thanks so much Bitterbugs! I hope you and your daughter love them!

  3. I'm putting together a care package for a sick friend with kids... I'm totally going to include a batch of these! Thanks for the idea!

  4. You're welcome! I hope your friend likes them!

  5. thank you so much for posting this! i actually made a half "test" batch today just to see what they were like and if my 7 year old approved them for his school b-day party next week. a total hit!! i used store bought chocolate covered pretzels and m+m's for the noses... and he absolutely LOVED them! cant wait to make them for real next week for his party! thank you again, i always love everything you post!

  6. Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked them! I would have used M&Ms too if they were Vegan - so I improvised :)

  7. cant wait to make these! there so diff n so cute n sound actually easy to make! btw do u happen to no if theres any vegan choch covered pretzels maybe dark choch would be hmm, just wen i have to dip things in choch i become crazy doin it if they dont look perfect lol

  8. Kaity - Thanks so much! I don't know of any vegan chocolate covered pretzels though. That's why I had to make my own!

  9. yeah i figured thanks tho! cant wait to make them:)

  10. heyy how long do these last about? im plannin out my holiday baking n im making these for xmas eve and just wanna no the earliest i could make them for them to still be good uno

  11. I'm not sure how long they would last Kaity. I made mine the night before and they were gone the next night! If you keep them in a container that's tightly sealed - they should last for while! I think they would be best when fresh though!

  12. yeah thats wat i figured, ok good so excited! thank u!

  13. DO you think these would work if I used Almond butter and gluten-free flour like Almond or something??

  14. Sara - Almond Butter would absolutely work. Are you familiar with baking Gluten Free? I guess I would use a prepared Gluten Free Flour Blend (like Bob's Red Mill brand)...but I'm not too experience with baking Gluten Free. If you try it - let me know how it goes!

  15. Matthew, you inspired my cutest cookies this holiday season! For some reason mine spread alot thinner than your photos, but people cooed over them and then drooled after tasting them...chewy goodness. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    1. You're cookies look great! I love the idea of using cinnamon candies for the nose! I'm not sure why the cookies spread out so much for you. I'll have to try this recipe again!