Coconut Oil Gingerbread Red-Nosed Reindeer – Soft gingerbread cookies made with coconut oil instead of butter and infused with lots of cuteness factors will cheer up everyone who sees them, including Santa. A Christmas must-have cookie recipe.
This year, both of my kids are all over gingerbread. We had just decorated our gingerbread house a week ago
and ever since then, they had been nagging me to bake more gingerbread cookies. Gingerbread everything! Gingerbread noodle mama? ok…that’s a little too far and perhaps pushing it!
I have been baking and cooking quite a bit with coconut oil. This coconut oil gingerbread cookies will not make your cookies taste like coconut if you are concern that the aroma of coconut will interfere with the other spices. I used Louana coconut oil, which has super mild coconut flavor and suitable for these gingerbread cookies and much better than regular butter.
Perhaps you might also ask, will the pretzel pieces stay put? Honestly, some of them may come off, but if you place the pretzel further into the cookies and press them down harder (but gentle, if that make sense), they stay put and unlikely to come off. They probably not suitable for gifting through the mail, but for cookie exchanges and gifting personally is fine.
The kids said they want to leave these cookies for Santa. I’m just afraid that they may not last till then though! 🙂
Recipe for the basic gingerbread cookies are adapted from King Arthur’s Flour.
Coconut Oil Gingerbread Red-Nosed Reindeer
- 72 pieces small pretzel pieces
- Small bag of M&M for baking Christmas edition
- Place butter in a small sauce pan, let it melt over low heat. Stir in brown sugar, molasses, salt, ginger, cinnamon, all-spice. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, let them cool down a little bit
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Crack in an egg and stir to mix. Add baking powder, baking soda into all-purpose flour. Whisk to mix everything evenly. Add this mixture into the ginger molasses mixture above until you get one large smooth dough
To make reindeers:
- Pinch about 3-inch of dough and roll into the ball and then roughly shape into a triangle and use your palm to gently flatten down the gingerbread a little bit. Place the dough about 2-inch apart so you have room for the reindeers' antlers later. Bake for 8-10 minutes
- After 10 minutes, remove from the oven. The gingerbread will still be very soft. Immediately press down the pretzel pieces on each side for antlers. Make sure you place the pretzels a bit further into the gingerbread as they stay better and chances of coming off are lower. Repeat with the rest. Then follow by two green eyes and red nose for each reindeer
To make cut-out gingerbread cookies instead:
- Divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a thick rectangle. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. It will be easier for you to work with later
- Once the dough has chilled, take one piece of dough out of the refrigerator, and flour a clean work surface. Roll the dough 1/8" to 1/4" thick; the thinner you roll the dough, the crispier the cookies will be. Flour both the top and bottom of the dough if it starts to stick. Alternatively, place the dough on parchment, and put a sheet of plastic wrap over it as you roll, pulling the plastic to eliminate wrinkles as necessary when rolling; this will keep dough from sticking without the need for additional flour.
- Cut out shapes with a floured cookie cutter, cutting them as close to one another as possible to minimize waste. You can always roll the "waste" into balls and press down a little bit for
- Transfer the cookies to ungreased cookie sheets. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they feel firm. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes and then press down some M&M candies on the gingerbread if using as a decoration. Otherwise, transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the other half of the dough in the refrigerator
- Decorate the cookies with icing or markers as you wish