Tu-Na Eats: Cute Reindeer Cookies

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas 

And now it’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas in my house. Tu-Na Helper is very excited that I’ve started baking. 

In fact, there’s lots of sweets being prepared across blogland this week. Today’s list of participating blogs for the Virtual Cookie Exchange is at the end of my post. Thank you Carol of Just Let Me Quilt for arranging another great blog hop.

virtual cookie exchange 2017

This cookie has always been one of my family’s favorites at Christmas. The kids loved to help make them and eat them. I really like them. Eating the frosting and pretzels together reminds me of salted caramel which is one of my favorite flavors.

tunaquilts 12a

Making a Reindeer Cookie is as easy as 1, 2, 3

  1. Make heart shaped cookies using your favorite rolled sugar cookie recipe or use mine below. Store bought dough will work, too. tunaquilts 8a
  2. Frost (I like the Easy Penuche frosting (recipe below). The color of it is great for a reindeer and the taste with the cookie and pretzel is wonderful.  tunaquilts 16aHowever, my sister uses vanilla frosting and sprinkles cinnamon and sugar on top to give the deer some color.

    Bonnie Ab

    My sister made a whole herd for a bake sale last month. She uses chocolate chips for the eyes. I prefer M&Ms. She likes vanilla icing. I like penuche. She uses larger heart-shaped cookies. I prefer a bit smaller ones.

  3. Add pretzel twists for antlers, one red M&M for a nose, and two brown M&Ms for eyes.


Making This Cookie

A few words of reassurance about rolling out cookie dough

Most people cringe at rolling out cookie dough and I used to be one of them. Here’s some hints to make the process a little less scary.

  • Refrigerate the dough for 1-2 hours before rolling it out. My recipe can be made the day before but then you’ll need to let it sit on the counter for a couple of hours to warm a bit or it’ll be too hard to roll.
  • Wipe your counter surface with a wet paper towel and immediately sprinkle on flour. I dust my countertop well all over and spread the flour around with my hand. This makes for a nice surface to roll on.tunaquilts 3a
  • Don’t press down hard on the rolling pin. Gently roll out the dough or you’ll end up pressing your dough into the counter and it will stick for sure.
  • Practice makes better. (I want to avoid adding to anyone’s perfectionism so we’ll settle for better.)

    tunaquilts 6a

    I think there’s going to be a lot of deer running around our village tomorrow. Won’t the neighbors be happy!

  • When finished rolling, use a dry paper towel first to clean off the counter and follow with a wet paper towel.

Making Penuche frosting is easier than pronouncing it

If you have no idea how to say penuche [pə nóochee], click here and then click on the purple arrow to the right of the word to hear it. 

The recipe is below. I like to start cooking the frosting first before rolling out the cookies so it has time to cool. 

tunaquilts 5a

The secret to good Penuche frosting is to use a low heat so it doesn’t cook too fast.

Then after it is cooled, I pour the frosting into a mixing bowl, add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat some air into it to make it fluffy.

tunaquilts 7a

Putting it all together

Once the cookies are cooled and frosting made, assembly of your cute little deers can begin. This is the part the kids love to do. Even two year olds can help. Have fun!

I bet you can’t eat just one!

World’s Best Rolled Cookie Dough*


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions: Mix flour, butter, baking soda, baking powder and salt with a pastry blender or fork (like you would if you were making pie crust). In another bowl, beat eggs with a mixer, add sugar and blend well. Mix in vanilla. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture by hand. Roll into a ball and refrigerate at least an hour or two for easier rolling. If refrigerating overnight, remove from refrigerator 2 hours before using.

Roll the cookies to 1/8-1/4″ thick. (I roll them to about 3/16″ or so as I like a thicker cookie). After years of practice, I don’t measure anymore but just guess.)

*in my opinion

Easy Penuche Frosting


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


Melt the butter on low heat. Add brown sugar. Boil and stir over low heat about 2 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Add the milk and bring to boil. Stir constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat well with mixer until fluffy and spreadable. Add more powdered sugar or milk if needed.

tunaquilts 11a

See more sweets

This is the second year I’ve participated in this Virtual Cookie Exchange. Last year I shared my family’s Painted Christmas Cookies.


If you missed it last year, you can read about the process here.

Visit these bloggers to get more caloric inspiration. If you missed the past two days of goodies, you can find the complete list here

December 7

 Quilt Doodle Doodles

Kris Loves Fabric

Life in the Scrapatch

Home Sewn By Us

For The Love Of Geese

Stitch Days

Val’s Quilting Studio

Tu-Na Quilts You’re here.

It’s A T-Sweet Day!

Just Let Me Quilt

A bit of fabric to satisfy your quilting tooth


tunaquilts 2a

I’ve finished all my blocks for the I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long. You can see 11 of them here as well as get the link for the free reindeer pattern and links to other QAL hosts. I will post the snowflake on Friday.

What I Learned Today: 

  1. It’s hard to roll out cookie dough with a cut finger. (I cut it ever so slightly while slicing a lemon to go with our grilled salmon last night.)
  2. Making these cookies brought back lots of memories of days when kids begged to be held, or needed to be driven across town for activities, or were spreading flour and sugar around the kitchen while helping to bake.
  3. How to say penuche correctly. Now I have to learn how to spell it.
  4. I’ve acclimated to Arizona temperatures. It was 59 degrees outside yesterday. I needed to wear a sweater.
  5. There are not many brown M&Ms in a bag anymore. I remember a day when there were lots of brown ones and tan ones.
  6. I have no will-power.
  7. The reason why I am so tired today is because I learned so much.

Question: What is your favorite holiday food that brings back memories? I’ve associated krumkake with Christmas ever since I was young. Our Norwegian neighbors would bring us a big can of it every year. It was delicious.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more about my journey or follow me by email, Bloglovin or WordPress, please subscribe using one those options found in the sidebar on this blog, Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

I Like Thursdays at Not Afraid of Color

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Linky Tuesday




29 thoughts on “Tu-Na Eats: Cute Reindeer Cookies

  1. rl2b2017

    Good Morning Karen,
    Oh yum, these look delicious! I’ve never heard of that frosting – not going to try to spell it! – but I will give it a go. I love sweet and salty together. YUM! I’m going to PIN your recipes too for later. Merry Christmas to you and your family! ~smile~ Roseanne


  2. Carol S.

    Karen, you had me smiling at your list of what you learned. I hope your finger is okay now! I have to make these cookies and I think the frosting you like (I can’t spell it or say it) would be my choice. They look delicious and cute! Thanks for sharing such a sweet post and yummy recipe. Glad you played along with me!


  3. KJ

    Love those reindeer. My mom used to make penuche fudge. I never knew how to pronounce it but I sure knew how to eat it. 🙂
    My favourite food memory at Christmas was just the sheer volume and variety of snacks. We had everything from 10-15 types of cookies, to bits and bites, to chocolates, and fruit. And now I understand why Mom always told us to go outside for about an hour before dinner, to burn off calories and make room for the feast.


  4. Carla

    I learned so much from your post, thank you. I pinned the recipe to try later. This looks like a fun family activity everyone would enjoy.


  5. joan

    Oh my those are so darn cute. I remember making penuche fudge when I was a kid. I absolutely loved it…more than chocolate fudge I’m afraid! What a great combo with the pretzels. Hope you don’t have to be a kid, just a kid at heart to enjoy them! LOL!! Merry Christmas


  6. Verna A.

    Thanks for the recipe! At first I thought the frosting was peanut butter! I think I will make these for my little nephews. My favorite Christmas memory is eating all the special treats my mother and grandmother made for the holidays. They made a lot of recipes from Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book. I always wanted to make the fancy gingerbread house in the book.


  7. Pat Evans

    One of my Christmas memories is that my MIL made maybe a dozen different kinds of cookies and lots of homemade candies. She started early in December, but I’m not sure how she kept her four children from eating everything before Christmas. I don’t bake much noe because my husband can’t resist sweets and he has the diabetes to attest to that.


  8. LJ

    What a cute, cute idea. My grands would love them, too. Penuche frosting is something I’ve never made though my mom loved it and always made a special black walnut cake to go with it. Thank you for the recipes. Peanut Brittle and Oyster Stew are things that brings back memories of Christmas and my parents.


  9. dezertsuz

    Those do looks so cute! Your posts always make me smile. Love your learning list for today. Stringing cranberries and popcorn is a great Christmas memory.


  10. Pat

    These little reindeer look good enough to eat! Thanks for the recipe with all the tips. Thanks, also, for the adorable reindeer block and quiltalong blocks. I have to put these on my list … 🙂 Pat


  11. June @ QuiltQuest

    Look like so much fun – and tasty too. My favorite memory is sort of recent. I made a new friend at parent association and she invited me over to help her make like 15 little gingerbread houses. Her daughter had party and people came and decorated them. It was a great way to make a new friend – now over ten years ago! We had home depot cut strips of plywood – that we covered with foil and put them on either side of the dough to get the walls to be the same thickness – perhaps this would work with your cookies too? And before Thanksgiving had a friend over to make pies and she had idea to put parchment paper on the counter, then it was really easy to life the dough onto the plate – perhaps that could be used with cookies too? Anyway, thanks for posting.


  12. Leslie in MN

    I’m just now catching up with my emails and am delighted to read your post on your reindeer cookies. They are adorable! My mom used to make penuche fudge, so I am sure your frosting is delicious. I’ll have to give these a try. Thanks!


  13. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts: Planning Ahead for 2018 | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

  14. Pingback: Tu-Na Eats: Virtual Cookie Exchange | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

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