Soft and chewy sugar cookies are a holiday must! Top them with a deliciously easy chocolate buttercream and decorate to turn those cookies into mini reindeer full of Christmas cheer!Jump to Recipe
Sugar cookies are just simply the best classic cookie…next to chocolate chip cookies, of course.
But creating some sugar cookies at this time of year is just kinda….boring. It’s been done so many times before. Santa’s seen too many sugar cookies.
These soft and chewy sugar reindeer cookies are easy, adorable and always soft. They’re easy enough for children to help decorate. And if you don’t have any kids to bake with in your life, release your inner child.
It’s still just so much fun to create cute and tasty cookies as an adult. It’s actually probably even more fun because well, adulthood doesn’t have enough moments of childlike joy, so those moments should be precious.
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Tips for the Perfect Chewy Reindeer Cookies
Scoop your dough so that it’s about 1 tablespoon (or 55g). If you go much bigger than that your reindeer faces are going to look pretty dang wonky.
Get yourself a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to make it easier for yourself.
Chilling the dough is a must! To keep your sugar cookies soft and chewy and not horribly sad melty puddles, chill for AT LEAST one hour.
Typically I chill them for about 4-5 hours, but that’s just because I always seem to forget about the chilling dough when I’m in the middle of a Netflix binge.
These cookies won’t look done when they come out of the oven. That’s okay and expected. Don’t over bake them. Allow the residual heat to continue cooking them but definitely remove them from the oven at the 14 minute mark at the latest.
Before frosting, make sure that the cookies are completely cool. Warm cookies with meltable frosting is a bad combination.
Make sure you grab name brand mini Nilla wafers. I know, normally I avoid the overpriced-ness of name brand anything but I’ve discovered that many generic/off-brand mini wafers are much bigger than the name brand minis.
Which is a problem when you need a snout to be functionally proportioned.
(Also, if you’re not sure what to do with the extra wafers, check out this post and make some super cute no bake chocolate acorn cookies)!
Materials for Reindeer Cookies
Eyeball Sprinkles – you could use chocolate chips but where’s the aesthetic and anthropomorphic appeal in that?
Mini Nilla Wafers – make sure they’re name brand! I explained why up in tip #5!
Red m&ms – you can use the regular mix or the Christmas variety. I typically keep a bag of m&ms around because they’re just so great to bake with!
Animal Crackers – they make the cutest antlers in my opinion.
Related Cookie Recipes!
Melted Snowman Snickerdoodles
Pink Dipped Chocolate Cookies
Classic Thumbprint Cookies
Soft Christmas Sugar Reindeer Cookies
For the Cookie Dough
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- 1¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour 300g
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp milk
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with your silicone baking mats
- Cream together your butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in your vanilla extract and egg.
- Incorporate your dry ingredients (except the other ¼ cup of sugar) and beat until a soft dough forms.
- Form one tablespoon dough balls and roll them through your additional ¼ cup of sugar. Place on two baking sheets lined with silicone baking mats about 2 inches apart.
- Chill the cookie dough balls for at least 1 hour.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE or else your cookies will not be soft and chewy.
- Allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Make the Chocolate Buttercream
- In a large bowl, beat the room temperature butter with a hand mixer until smooth. Mix in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar slowly. Add your milk and continue beating until the buttercream comes together to form a light fluffy texture.
- Once your cookies are completely cooled, use a butter knife to spread your buttercream around the cookies. With a small dot of buttercream, attach your red m&ms to the mini Nilla wafers, then press the wafer onto the bottom part of the sugar cookie.
- Press in the eyeball sprinkles right above the Nilla wafer and 2 animal crackers for antlers.
- Enjoy! Store any extras in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days.
Classic sugar cookies are always a Christmas must. But this year your sugar cookies can finally get the most adorable upgrade.
Celebrate the season by decorating treats almost too cute to eat and maybe try to save some for Santa. But then again, he’s a creepy old man that sneaks down your chimney to watch you sleep….so maybe don’t incentivize his creeping with cookies.
Anywho, once you’ve made these super cute sugary reindeer cookies, make sure you take a picture, post it on Instagram and tag me (@handheld_eats) for a special shout out! I love seeing you creations and really, if you don’t post it on Instagram, did it even happen?
And while you’re here, make sure to check out our other cookie recipes to make sure that sweet tooth stays satisfied!
Sharing is caring! Do you know someone who’d love these reindeer cookies? Share this post with them!
See you soon, friends!