When I was little, on Christmas Eve, in order to make sure Father Christmas stopped at my house, I would leave a carrot for the reindeer, a mince pie and a wee dram of whiskey. Later, when I was older and my friends found out that I left whiskey for Father Christmas they thought it peculiar / rather decadent. I am hoping that now they are grown-up (so am I, apparently) they realise that this is not weird or overtly extravagant. If, as a parent, you are going to have to pretend to be a reindeer (by leaving teeth marks in the carrot) and Father Christmas (by leaving mince pie crumbs, foot prints and drinking the whiskey) you would like it to be something you are going to enjoy – or as my parents later confessed, something that will take away the taste of biting into an un-washed, un-peeled carrot. Milk isn’t going to cut it. We are Scottish.
A wee dram of whiskey is still a Christmas Eve tradition. Although none of us are pretending to be Father Christmas. Or a reindeer. Not yet anyway.
However, if you have small people in your house, why not leave Father Christmas one of these cookies this year? I think he will enjoy a reindeer cookie that tastes of peanut butter. And children can help you make these, so they will be doubly excited to leave it for Santa, because they had a hand in making them.
The cookies are made using a flour-less peanut butter cookie recipe (I mentioned one similar at Easter), with gluten-free pretzels for the antlers and a peanut M&M for the nose.
I have to be honest and say that cutting the pretzels for the antlers was a little bit of a challenge. They have a nasty habit of shattering all over the place, leaving you sifting through the shrapnel trying to find decent sized and shaped pieces. But it is not impossible. However. I did end up with a couple that looked a bit . . . well . . . sad.
Eat these ones first. We don’t like sad things at Christmas.
Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies
- 260g peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
- 220g soft light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- Dark chocolate chips (for the eyes)
- Gluten-free pretzels (for the antlers)
- Peanut M&Ms (for the noses)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 celsius / 160 fan / 350 fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick paper.
- Mix together the peanut butter, sugar and egg.
- Take teaspoons of the mixture and roll into a ball. Place on the baking sheet approximately 2.5cm (1 in) apart and press down slightly.
- Cut the pretzels and place into the top of each cookie. Gently press in 2 chocolate chips for the eyes.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until a thin crust forms.
- Remove from the oven and press in the M&M for the nose.
- Cool on the sheets for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.