With just days to go before Christmas, my girls have been making the rounds to all kinds of parties at school and at the homes of their little friends, which basically means they’ve been some little baking fools around these parts as they bring goodies to the festivities.
In the past week, Lila’s made Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies for a cookie swap with her girlfriends, and Mari’s made molasses cookies just for kicks and Strawberry Snowman Cupcakes for a class festival designed to raise funds for Hurricane Sandy survivors. Of course, I snapped pictures because, well, what’s cuter than kid art in the form of desserts? Below, simple recipes for Lila’s reindeer cookies and Mari’s snowman cupcakes—easy, peasy treats you can make with the kids (or that they can do all by themselves!) on a quiet afternoon. Give them as hostess gifts or treats for the neighbors or fun desserts for Christmas Day. Enjoy! (And good grief, don’t over eat them like I did. I’ll be paying for it at the gym through the beginning of 2013.)
Mari’s Snowman Cupcakes
1 box strawberry cake mix
2 canisters of vanilla icing
1 bag jumbo marshmallows
assortment of prepared icing tubes
1 box of miniature candy canes
1. Prepare the strawberry cupcakes according to the directions
2. Once the cupcakes are cool, frost with vanilla icing
3. To assemble the snowman: cut two marshmallows in half, then place one half on top of the other to create the snowman’s body. Cut a third marshmallow half in half, and place it on top of the snowman’s body to create its head.
4. Use the various icings to create eyes, a nose, a scarf, buttons and earmuffs.
5. Place the snowman on top of the cupcake, then finish with a shake of white sprinkles and a candy cane.
Lila’s Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies
(adapted from Bakergirl)
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
Assorted Peanut M&Ms
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Combine brown sugar, peanut butter, shortening, milk, and vanilla in large bowl. Mix until well blended. Add egg; mix until just blended.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture and 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 the palm of your hand. Space cookies about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until they are 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 brown M&Ms in for the eyes and one peanut M&M for the nose (red, of course, is the star—what with Rudolph being The Man and all).
Allow to cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack or paper towel to cool completely.
Makes about 24 reindeer cookies.