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reindeer thumbprint cookies made with mini pretzels and strawberry jam, on log platter

Red-Nosed Thumbprint Cookies

Bake a yummy batch of reindeer thumbprint cookies, decorated with pretzels and strawberry jam. Easy recipe for your Christmas party or cookie exchange!
2.67 from 3 votes
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Course: Christmas
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 36 servings
Calories: 174kcal
Author: Mel Lockcuff



  • Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
  • Start by creaming together (mixing together) the butter and sugar. 
  • Then mix the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract into the creamed mixture.
  • Sift together your dry ingredients, including the flour, baking powder, and salt. 
  • Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture.
  • Using a cookie scoop, take about a tablespoon or just slightly smaller scoop of dough, and roll it into a ball.
  • Repeat the above step with the rest of the dough, placing the dough balls on an un-greased cookie sheet. Be sure to leave enough room between each cookie for your antlers. 
  • Using a smooth bottomed glass, press each cookie flat.
  • Then press your thumb into the center of each cookie, leaving enough room for eyes above and mouth beneath.
  • Fill each thumbprint with a tiny spoonful or dab of strawberry jam.
  • Break mini pretzels in half, and place one on each side of each thumbprint cookie, to serve as antlers.
  • Bake the cookies at 350°F for about 15 minutes. 
  • Remove the cookies from the oven, and let them cool on a wire rack. 
  • After the cookies have cooled, use black frosting to add eyes and maybe a little smile. 
  • Finally, give your reindeer cookies a sprinkling of powdered sugar, using a powder shaker.


*You can use any flavor of red jam you prefer, including strawberry, raspberry, cherry, etc.
**I recommend using black decorating frosting, decorating gel, or candy eyeballs for the eyes. If you want homemade frosting, you can make an easy sugar cookie icing; but you won't need very much just for eyes and smiles.


Serving: 36servings | Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 130mg | Sugar: 10g
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