Nothing says Santa's-on-his-way like butter and sugar browning on a cookie sheet. Every year I have lofty aspirations. I get excited about the reliable gingerbread and candy cane cookies of my youth and I get burnt out before I get to anything new and inspirational.
A week ago, I was in the cash register line at the local grocery store and, on impulse, I grabbed a copy of Canadian Living and threw it onto the conveyor belt. Because its front cover spoke to my grumbly tummy and my festive spirit. When I got home, I set myself up at the dining room table and slowly leafed through the pages of five variations of five different types of cookies (sugar cookies with lemon filling and white chocolate icing; sugar cookie gift tags; gingerbread cookies with white chocolate thumb prints etc.) This craving for cookie ideas, of course, led me to spend the next few hours looking at cookies on Pinterest.
And I realized that there is a whole world of holiday cookies I've never tried! Can you imagine?!!!
And so was born a challenge (which I will share with my lovely sister, Mary):
To bake twelve different kinds of cookies by Christmas day.
I've decided that different variants of a cookie recipe count as different kinds of cookies, simply because I get to make up my own rules and I want lots of flexibility. Also, if Mary bakes cookies or bars, she can tell me about them and I'll count them in my tally. Because that's what sisters are for .... sharing.
So, the first featured cookie I baked was a Peanut Butter Reindeer cookie recipe.
I saw the beautiful picture on Pinterest and thought it'd make a fantastic kid-friendly activity. And it really was!
I baked up an easy peanut butter cookie dough, purchased some mini M&M's and chocolate covered pretzels from the bulk barn and let the kids go to town.
My kids are five and two years old and it was age-appropriate for both of them.
Each kid got a cookie sheet, a small bowl of M&M's and a small bowl of the chocolate-covered pretzels (I used semi-sweet). I rolled out a bunch of heads and the kids had a ball putting seven eyes and three noses and as many antlers as they could fit onto their "reindeer".
Here is a link to the site I used as inspiration.
Have fun and happy baking!