I’m known for getting in the Christmas spirit a little too early. Like months too early. I’m not opposed to listening to Christmas music before Halloween hits. When December rolls around, and it is officially acceptable to become immersed in all things Christmas, my enthusiasm for my favorite holiday peaks.

While I love Christmas shopping, Christmas movies and Christmas decorations, my favorite thing of all is Christmas baking! The Christmas weather has not hit Chicago just yet, but that hasn’t stopped me from diving into some delicious treats. Over the next three weeks, I will be posting 12 Christmas cookie recipes. Some new, some old, some classic, and some experimental. I’d like to call this little segment:

The 12 Days of Christmas Cookies

Now, since I am one of the top ten busiest college students ever (totally not exaggerating), it’s going to take me until right up until Christmas to post 12 different cookies. To kick things off, I’m going to share a cookie recipe that is new to me this season: Betty Crocker’s Reindeer Tracks

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I picked this gem out of a Christmas Cookie recipe book that I picked up at Dominick’s last week.

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Reindeer Tracks Ingredients:

  • 2 1/3 cups flour (I used 1 1/2 cups all purpose and substituted whole wheat for the rest. My feeble attempt to add nutrition)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 (12 oz) package white vanilla baking chips
  • 1 (8 0z) package mini peanut butter cup candies
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pretzel twists

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees, lightly spray cookie sheets or use a silpat.
  • In medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs and vanilla until blended.
  • Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture until blended.
  • Stir in baking chips, peanut butter cup candies and pretzels

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake 9-11 minutes, or until lightly browned. Immediately remove cookies onto cooling racks.

The ingredient that absolutely made these cookies was the peanut butter cups.

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These cookies were a huge hit. Mike actually ate SIX of them in a row. Yes, that’s a true story. Remember how I said he’s slightly apprehensive about trying healthy recipes? The same does not hold true when it comes to cookies. These cookies are so good, they get a special little spot in my apartment.

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Behold, the Nutcracker cookie jar!

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My mom got me this little guy last time I was home. He’s awesome! In addition to sharing cookie recipes over the next few weeks, I have a lot of fitness related things going on. I just started a new workout plan that is absolutely kicking my butt. I was planning on sharing it in this post, but somehow cookies and exercise just don’t go together in my head. Hopefully I will get a chance to share it this week!

Happy Holidays!

 

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