(Makes 36 servings)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for flattening cookies
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
Red or green candy-coated chocolates (such as M&M’s)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter two cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, peanut butter and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl a few times.
4. Add the egg and mix until just blended. Scrape down bowl again.
5. Add the dry ingredients on low speed and mix until just blended. Scrape down bowl and blend until smooth.
6. Roll teaspoon-size mounds of dough into balls and place 3 inches apart on baking sheets. Dip a flat-bottomed water glass into a small bowl of granulated sugar and flatten dough balls to make 1/2-inch-thick round cookies.
7. Gently stick two pretzels into the dough at the top of each cookie to make antlers. Use two chocolate chips for eyes and a red or green M&M near the bottom for the nose.
8. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until cookies are light gold in color. Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then carefully transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Recipe and photo courtesy and copyright of iVillage (www.ivillage.com.)