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Registered: ‎12-20-2010

Gingerbread Men and Reindeer Cookies

/><br/> <br/> I always shied away from making cut out cookies until I found this recipe. It's been my GO TO recipe from the first time I tried it. I LOVE the idea of adding instant pudding mix to the cookie dough.<br/> <br/> My good friend, Cyndy had sent me a couple boxes of instant gingerbread pudding mix that she found on vacation last year and I LOVED it.......well, I was beyond happy when I heard that Jell-O reintroduced it and it was in our area along with an instant candy cane pudding mix.........of COURSE my grocery store didn't carry them, but I finally did track them down at the local K-Mart after doing some online searching. I stocked up on plenty of both because I had plans for them. I kept a box of each out for Christmas baking and tucked the rest of them away in the freezer.......just in case they disappear from the shelves forever.<br/> <br/> I had made snowflakes with this same dough last year and used the gingerbread pudding mix-they came out great. My youngest grandson just loves gingerbread men so this was going to make it easy. Then I saw a cute idea on</span> <a rel=Pinterest about turning the gingerbread man upside down and making reindeer cookies with them. Lofty goals had I......half of the gingerbread men would be decorated right side up, the other half upside down.

I added some ground cloves to the cookie dough to amp up the spices-it added a nice touch. I made the dough on Thursday and tucked it in the refrigerator for my big baking day on Sunday. I baked off all of the cookies on Sunday and decorated them on Monday.

What fun! I've included a link for the Royal Icing recipe I use and love. I'm no decorator that's for sure but that icing sure makes me feel like I can do it! I used a #2 round tip for all of the piping.

I was really pleased with the way they both came out. I used the Mini M&M baking pieces for the buttons on the snowmen and candy sprinkle hearts made the "cheeks." The nose and holly berry on the reindeer are the mini M&Ms and mini chocolate chips made the eyes in the center of the drop of royal icing. I didn't want to fool with tinting icing and changing decorating tips, so I rolled some gumdrops thin and cut triangles for leaves. For ease in cutting them, wet your knife with warm water, then dip the cut edges in granulated sugar. Each piece of candy on both cookies was "glued" on with royal icing.

I had a lot of fun making these and they taste delicious too. I also love the whimsy they added to my cookie tray.

This recipe is so versatile. Depending on how thick you roll the dough, you'll get chewy cookies or crisp cookies if the dough is rolled thinner. And the taste? Delicious.

I switched it around and made another cut out cookie with a different flavor pudding this year too. Have fun making your own recipes using the instant pudding mix that's your family's favorite!

(Source: Adapted from
Best of Country Cookies cookbook)

1/2 c. butter (no substitutions), softened
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 (3.4 oz.) pkg. instant gingerbread pudding mix*
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Cream butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg.

Combine flour, dry pudding mix, baking soda, ginger, cloves and cinnamon; gradually add to the creamed mixture beating on low speed just until mixed.

Gather dough and form into a square disk, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to roll. I always make the dough a few days ahead of time.

Remove dough from refrigerator; let sit 15-20 minutes to soften slightly.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/8" thickness for chewy cookies, 1/16" thick for crisp cookies. Cut into desired shapes with your favorite cookie cutters. Reroll the dough scraps Place 1" apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake @ 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for 1-2 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Frost and decorate cookies as desired. The amount of cookies you get from this dough depends on the size cookie cutter you use. I got about 4 dozen cookies using the gingerbread cookie cutter I have.
I use Royal Icing recipe found
HERE to decorate the cookies, using 8 Tbsp. water and adding 1 tsp. vanilla extract to the batch. I cut the recipe in half and had more than enough.

*NOTE: If you can't find the Gingerbread instant pudding mix in your area, butterscotch pudding makes a great substitute. These are also good with the instant pumpkin spice pudding mix if you have some of that left from the fall.

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