Last Updated on December 14, 2021 by Kathryn Donangelo
Celebrate the Christmas season with these fun Reindeer Cookies. They are delicious, kid-friendly, and the perfect sweet treat for Santa to enjoy. Make these soft thick cookies using a handful of pantry staples in under an hour and serve with a big ol’ glass of ice cold milk.
These Reindeer Cookies are a fun twist on a classic peanut butter cookie. Take your favorite chewy peanut butter cookie base and turn them into a fun, delicious, and oh-so-easy treat that even your kids will love helping you make! If you love simple and ridiculously adorable holiday treats, try my Gingerbread Men Cookies this holiday season, too.
These fun little reindeer cookies are an adorable Christmas treat that are tasty enough to serve as a holiday family get-together dessert, cute enough to give as an edible holiday gift, or sweet enough to leave out for Santa and his elves! Serve these Reindeer Cookies with a glass of ice cold milk or even a steaming cup of hot chocolate for a comforting holiday sweet treat.
- Brown sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Creamy peanut butter
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Mini Pretzels
- Chocolate chips
Sugar: This recipe calls for a combination of white and brown sugars. I prefer using light brown sugar in this recipe but dark brown will work as well. If using dark brown, be aware that cookies will be slightly darker in color once baked.
Peanut butter: Creamy peanut butter is best for this recipe. If you’d like to add extra texture to these cookies, I recommend adding chopped nuts verse using chunky peanut butter. Avoid using “natural” peanut butter as it does not mix as well.
Salt: If using salted butter, omit additional salt
All-purpose flour: Be sure to use all-purpose flour for these cookies. While I have not tested this recipe using alternative flours, if looking to swap out with gluten-free, be sure to use a 1:1 substitution. I like Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour.
HOW TO MAKE REINDEER COOKIES
STEP ONE: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cookie sheets and set aside.
STEP TWO: In large mixing bowl, combine butter, sugars, peanut butter, milk, vanilla, and egg. Mix until light and fluffy. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix just until combined. Place dough in refrigerator for 15 minutes to set.
STEP THREE: Using a mini ice cream scoop, place cookie dough balls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Shape cookies into an upside-down triangle shape, gently press down cookies with the palm of your hand to approximately ½ inch thickness. Add two pretzels to the top to form ears and press a red M&M on the bottom of triangle to form the nose.
STEP FOUR: Bake for 10 minutes. Cookies will appear lightly browned and slightly underdone but will set up as they cool. Immediately add two chocolate chips to the center of cookies to form eyes. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet prior to transferring to cooling rack. Enjoy!
REINDEER COOKIE VARIATIONS
- Use chocolate covered pretzels for antlers to add an extra touch of sweetness
- Use semi-sweet, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate chips for eyes
- Not all reindeer are Rudolph! Feel free to use brown M&Ms on some reindeer for their nose
- Feel free to break apart pretzel twists and use the pieces for antlers
- For a fun-twist, use edible eyes instead of chips for a more realistic looking cookie
TIPS FOR REINDEER COOKIES
- Substitute light brown sugar for the granulated white sugar for an extremely chewy cookie with deep molasses flavor
- Use room temperature unsalted butter and egg to ensure a smooth batter
- For a soft and chewy cookie, slightly under bake. Once cookies look set around the edges, remove from oven and allow them to continue to cook for 5 minutes longer on the baking sheet. Then transfer to a cooling rack to completely cool.
- Cookie batter can be made a day or two in advance. Wrap and store in fridge until ready to bake. The longer the cookie dough sits the more the flavors develop.
- Be sure to use creamy peanut butter (I used Jiff brand). I do not recommend using natural peanut butter for this recipe as it tends to separate and doesn’t mix well with other ingredients.
- Dough can be stored in an airtight container and placed in freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before shaping and baking off according to recipe.
Reindeer cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days (if they last that long). Or can be frozen for up to 4 months.
If layering multiple cookies in a container, be sure to place a piece of parchment paper between each layer to keep the decorations from falling off.
OTHER CHRISTMAS COOKIES TO TRY:
- Melted Snowman Cookies
- Santa Cookies
- Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
- Oreo Cookie Truffles
- Toffee Cookies
- Italian Ricotta Cookies
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- 3/4 cup brown sugar; packed
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter; softened
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter be sure not to use 100% natural peanut butter
- 1 Tbsp. milk
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 whole egg
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 52 mini pretzels
- 26 red M&Ms
- 52 chocolate chips
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together with a stand mixer or electric mixer the butter and sugars. Beat until combined (about 1 minute) and then add peanut butter, milk, vanilla extract and egg. Continue to beat until light, fluffy and combined.
- Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until a cookie dough has formed and all of the ingredients are incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Do not to over-mix.
- Place the cookie dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a cooking sheets with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
- With a mini ice cream scoop or 2 tablespoons, roll out 26 dough balls, form an upside-down triangle shape and place on the cookie sheet. Bake one cookie sheet at a time. Gently press the cookies down with the palm of your hand just a bit. Add two pretzels to the top to form the ears and press a red M&M on the bottom of the triangle to form the nose.
- Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Once the cookies are baked, immediately (and carefully) add two chocolate chips to the center of the cookies to form the eyes. Let the cookies set on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Enjoy or bake these cookies for Santa to enjoy! 🙂
- Store any leftover reindeer cookies in an airtight container for 3-5 days at room temperature or in the freezer for 4 months.
- Be sure to use creamy peanut butter (I used Jiff brand). I do not recommend using natural peanut butter for this recipe as it tends to separate and doesn't mix well with other ingredients.
- Use room temperature unsalted butter and egg to ensure a smooth batter
- If using salted butter, omit additional salt
Friday Christmas Cookie Recipes
- Big Soft Ginger Cookies from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
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- Chewy Oatmeal Ginger Cookies from Family Around the Table
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies from Kate’s Recipe Box
- Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Christmas Ritz Cracker Cookies from Jen Around the World
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- Double Peppermint Cookies from Daily Dish Recipes
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- Old-Fashioned Jubilee Jumbles Cookies from Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
- Peppermint Shortbread from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Reindeer Cookies from Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog
- Sugar Cookie Bars from Leftovers Then Breakfast
- Thumbprint Cookies from Palatable Pastime
- White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies from Art of Natural Living