Are you looking for a fun, family tradition to incorporate to your holidays?
Well, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not crafty which makes it difficult to do many inexpensive holiday traditions.
However, I combined a few ideas between family and the internet to create a new tradition this year. I found a recipe for baking a delicious cookie from an old cookbook a local church had created and given to my mother-in-law. In turn, she passed the cookbook on to me.
From there, I added an idea I found through a meme on social media. Put the two together, and my whole family had a blast making delicious and festive Rudolph Christmas cookies.
Curious how you incorporate this delicious idea into your holidays? Well, here’s the process:
Recipe Credit: Lana B. Longworth “Basic Cookie Recipe” from the Come and Dine Charity Hill Baptist Church Cookbook out of Mountain Park, North Carolina. I changed a few ingredients and amounts to my liking.
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1 cup of white sugar
- 1 cup of shortening (I used my homemade lard)
- 2 eggs
- 4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Mixing bowls
- Wooden spoon or hand mixer
- Rolling pin or cup
- Greased cookie sheet(s)
- Gingerbread cookie cutter
- Squeeze icing to decorate
- Sprinkles (optional)
- Chopped chocolate bar or chocolate chips (optional)
1. Mix the Wet Ingredients
To start this delicious tradition, add the lard or shortening into a mixing bowl. Add the brown and white sugars along with the two eggs.
When everything has been placed inside the mixing bowl, pull out your wooden spoon or hand mixer and mix the ingredients together.
They should look creamy and you should no longer be able to identify the separate ingredients in the bowl.
2. Mix the Dry Ingredients
After the wet ingredients have been mixed, it’s time to put the dry ingredients together in another mixing bowl.
Add the all-purpose flour, salt, and baking soda to the mixing bowl. You can use a wooden spoon or fork to gently mix the ingredients.
Be sure you don’t toss the vanilla in the bowl during this step. It should be the only ingredient from the list not included.
3. Combine and Roll
When your dry ingredients are mixed, add them to the wet ingredients. You can either stir with a wooden spoon or mix (on low) with a hand mixer. If you have a stand mixer, this would work well too.
After all the ingredients are well mixed, add the teaspoon of vanilla and mix again. Once all the ingredients are thoroughly blended, they’re ready to be rolled out.
The original recipe for these cookies only called for two and a half cups of all-purpose flour.
However, I added an additional cup and a half because when rolling the cookies out, I found they were too wet with the lesser amount.
If you find your cookies are still too wet for rolling, be sure to flour the surface you place the cookie dough on.
You can also sprinkle more flour by the handfuls onto the dough and knead it in as necessary. Be sure to flour your rolling pin as well.
I rolled the cookie dough out with one solid roll to where it was approximately ½ inch thick. When the dough is rolled out, pull out your gingerbread cookie cutter and cut the cookies into shapes.
Place each shaped Rudolph Christmas cookie onto a greased cookie sheet. Keep making the dough into a ball, rolling, and cutting until the dough has been used fully.
4. Start Baking
Your oven should be preheated to 350° Fahrenheit. Place the cookies into the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes.
When the edges become brown, you’ll know it’s time to remove them from the oven. This recipe produces fluffy cookies.
Be sure to leave plenty of space between the gingerbread men because they’ll attach if placed too closely together.
5. Cool Down and Prepare
Once the Rudolph Christmas cookies are finished baking, place them on a cooling rack until they’re no longer hot. During this time begin to pull out your decorating ingredients.
I listed what I used, but you can use as many different edible decorations as your imagination can come up with.
In my case, I used white icing to draw the ears and antlers of the reindeer. I used red icing with red sprinkles for the nose.
You can also use cut up pieces of chocolate to dab onto the eyes as the pupil of the reindeer. Chocolate chips would be an easier choice, though.
The idea is to turn the gingerbread man upside down and the legs will be the antlers while the body will be the rest of the reindeer’s face.
6. Decorate Your Rudolph Christmas Cookies
This step of the process is what is the most fun for the kids. Your cookies don’t have to look perfect. In fact, it’s more fun if they don’t.
My kids enjoyed making different faces for Rudolph, and they also enjoyed being able to be artistic and share their creations.
This is why I wanted to share their work because many times we see ideas on Pinterest and develop the attitude of “I can’t do this!”
Well, it isn’t about how good each Rudolph Christmas cookie turns out. It’s about enjoying delicious Christmas cookies, making fun family memories, and having a few laughs.
7. Enjoy or Share
When your Rudolph Christmas cookies are complete, you can either sit down, enjoy a Christmas movie, and eat them with a glass of milk.
Or you can put them in festive cookie tins and share them with friends, family, or neighbors. I’m sure I’ve shared the story before, but when we first moved to our current state, we moved to a rural area where people preferred to stick to themselves.
I’m not an overly intrusive neighbor, but I did want to develop relationships with those I lived near. It was important for them to know they could call on us and vice versa if ever needed.
We didn’t have a great deal of money, which led to the idea of baking Rudolph Christmas cookies and passing them around to each house.
It made a huge impact. People we rarely ever saw smile when we drove by suddenly started smiling and waving.
These cookies could be a delicious way to build bridges and let others know you’re thinking of them during this holiday season.
It’s a simple tradition which is extremely affordable. This could be a great way to make lots of fun memories with your immediate family and spread a little holiday cheer as well.
Hopefully, you and your family will create fun Rudolph Christmas cookies and this will be something your family looks forward to year after year.