A fun and festive recipe that even very young children can help with. The perfect cookies to leave for Santa!
The holiday season is in full swing, replete with indulgences of all kinds, but let’s face it, when it comes to treats at Christmastime, it’s all about the cookies! Even the phrase itself – Christmas cookies – has a sort of sing-songy quality to it that conjures up feelings of happiness and nostalgia. Almost everyone has a favorite Christmas cookie, or one that they remember someone in their family making. A friend of mine once told me that his grandmother used to start baking right after Thanksgiving, and every year would make hundreds of cookies that she’d store in her freezer and then give away to just about everyone she knew on Christmas eve. What a wonderful memory! Old fashioned gingerbread cookies have always been a favorite in our house, but I’ve been seeing these cute reindeer cookies all over the place lately, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and create a vegan Christmas cookie following this theme. I’ve heard that Santa is trying to eat a little healthier these days. If that’s true, then these Vegan Rudolph Reindeer Cookies will be perfect for him!
Vegan Rudolph Reindeer Cookies are sweetened with maple syrup, so, other than the small amount of sugar on the dried cranberries (the Rudolph noses), these cookies are free of refined sugar. And, they’re gluten-free and dairy-free too. Just be sure to use gluten-free pretzels. One brand I really like is Glutino. I’m not sure why, but I find their gluten-free pretzel twists incredibly addictive. And they make great antlers for Rudolph too!
This time of year is jam-packed with lots of fun and festive activities. If you’re finding it hard to carve out some time to make Christmas cookies with your kids then Vegan Rudolph Reindeer Cookies will come to the rescue! Unlike other Christmas cookie recipes, this one is not a big production. The ingredient list is short, and there’s no messy icing or sprinkles to deal with so even very young children can help.
Vegan Rudolph Reindeer Cookies have a soft and chewy texture and a super clean taste. The recipe only makes 8 cookies, but the upside is that you can whip them up pretty quickly and then check the “made Christmas cookies” box!
- 2 cups (8 oz.) super fine almond flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 8 raisins, cut in half
- 8 dried cranberries
- 16 gluten-free pretzels
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the almond flour, baking powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix on medium speed until a smooth, sticky dough forms.
- Pinch off 1½ ounce pieces of dough (roughly the same size as a golf ball) and roll into balls. Flatten into oval shapes about of ½ inch thick.
- Taper the bottom of each oval slightly to form a reindeer head shape. (Wet your hands and fingers to prevent sticking if necessary.)
- Press two pretzels into each cookie to form the reindeer antlers. Make the eyes with the raisin halves, pressing them in with the cut side facing up, and do the same with dried cranberries for the noses.
- Bake in the bottom third of the oven for 12 minutes. (The cookies should be browed on the bottom but will still appear pale on top.)
- Makes 8 cookies.
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