Reindeer Wrangler Cookie Recipe


Christmas is for cookies and brownies and other luscious sweets. In my house this has traditionally meant all different kinds of cookies, but none were ever really a true Christmas tradition. None were seasonal, none were specific to the holidays and I suppose most of all, none were mine.

This year I set out to remedy that and to do something that I absolutely never do. I stepped out of my comfort zone completely and modified a cookie recipe to reflect what my kids love to eat and to enhance the flavors that I like.

I was terrified.  I was uneasy.  I was sure it wouldn’t work, because I’m a cook, not a baker and i was sure to screw this up.

I didn’t. It was wonderful! The cookies were perfect, tasty, sweet, tangy and speckled with tiny glimpses of cranberry and white chocolate.

This is a modified version of my wife’s famous Cowboy Cookie recipe, but with a few twists however, a cowboy cookie has a traditional set of ingredients.  This recipe is no longer a cowboy cookie by definition, so I decided in the spirit of the season to dub these “Reindeer Wranglers”, both because the tiny speckles of cranberry reminded me of Rudolph’s nose and because I figured that Santa’s reindeer crew would probably enjoy these a great deal.

Now our family has its very own Christmas cookie tradition, invented in our own kitchen and made with love. It makes me happier than it should, I think.

What are your Christmas cookie traditions?  Is there anything that jut HAS to be baked every year? We’d love to hear about it.

Reindeer Wrangler Cookie Recipe
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 6 oz. white chocolate morsels
  • 3/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Cream shortening, granulated sugar and brown sugar with a hand mixer or electric stand mixer. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until well blended. Mix in flour, baking soda salt and baking powder.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Dough will be thick! (If using a stand mixer, you may want to switch to a dough hook at this point.)
  3. Spoon cookie mixture onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until bottom edge of cookie is golden.
  4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:

My kids declared these the best cookies I have ever made.  I’m not here to argue with that, just to bask in the glory of a job well done…. And try not to sneak another cookie.

Links to other recipes like this:

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  1. Karen Babb says

    These sound delish, love the addition of dried cranberries but I would probably go for milk chocolate chips instead of the white chocolate because that’s just the way I roll. Great post.

  2. VickiT says

    Great sounding cookie. I love adding dried cranberries into my baking things whenever I see the opportunity.

    Things I must make each hoiday which I think I’d be shot by my family if I didn’t would be:
    I used to bake tons of cookies every year but somewhere along the line I started making candy and slowly the cookies took a back seat to the candy making.

    These candies are made every year even if this is all that gets made. My fudge which is from a small cookbook I bought years ago by the cash register while waiting to check out. This stuff is amazingly simple, absolutely no one can mess it up and it’s super quick:
    Peppermint Swirl Fudge
    Peanut butter fudge
    Chocolate Fudge

    If I do make cookies which I didn’t this year for a few reasons, I MUST make my two favorites; One being cut out sugar cookieswith colored icing and Rosettes.
    I’ll have to try your recipe now too. Thank you.

  3. says

    Reindeer Wranglers! I LOVE IT,Jerry. Seriously LOVE IT! I am a ginourmous fan of reindeer! I am so making these next year!!! I just started my own cookie tradition this year too! Here are a few:

    Yule Log Cookie (at the end of post)

    New and improved holiday cookies:

  4. says

    My kids love white chocolate chips. That’s why they’re in there :)

    Gotta have traditions. If I don’t make my aunt’s tea cookies, I’ll be disowned!

    New traditions Rock!

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