I feel as if I'm saying this every month, but the Little Girl is at such a delightful age. She's really starting to use her words - some Afrikaans, some English - and it's great listening to her. One of her words is "star", and whenever Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is played, she sings along, with special emphasis every time "star" comes along. She is indeed a little star.
Other words are daddy and mamma, ball, bath, car and dis klaar (it's finished), usually said to me in case I didn't notice that the DVD is back at the home menu. The DVD's we mostly watch these days are the Wiggles, probably her favourite word. Now, if you feel like judging me for plonking my child in front of the television once a day to watch her DVD, please feel free. I'm just thankful that there is something that keeps her entertained, and more importantly, sitting still for an hour. During that hour I can shower, eat something, clean the kitchen, make dinner, do some laundry. Whatever needs to be done, basically, without me worrying that she's trying to climb onto something, into something, breaking into something, breaking out of something, or generally engaging in some sort of behaviour that adds to my already greying hair.
So, when the Wiggles came to town, I thought I'll treat my darling Little Girl to a show. And she loved every minute of it. Not only couldn't she get enough of the guys and Captain Featherswort and Dorothy, there were other children, and lights, and music. Enough to make any little girl laugh out loud with happiness. Happy enough, also, to not only have a sleep on the way home, but to sleep straight through the night, which is still an irregular occurence in our household.
It's in the Little Girl's honour that I make these Rudolph cookies. She was too little last year to have them, but I can't wait to give them to her this Christmas. They are beyond cute, like those puppies you see in the pet shop window. I dare you to look them in the eyes and walk away. I made them with mini M&M's, but I think they will look nicer with chocolate chips for eyes and dried cranberries for the noses. If you have somebody little to bake for this year, don't look any further. Rudolph is your man.
Rudolph the Reindeer Cookies
Makes about 48 cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
250g packet small pretzels
160g packet mini M&M's
In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide the dough in half. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Between two pieces of baking paper, roll out half of the dough until about 1/2 cm thick. Cut out oval shapes. Leftover dough can be re-rolled. Place the dough back in the refrigerator if it becomes too soft to handle.
For the antlers, lightly press the pretzels into the top corners of the oval. Use 2 brown M&M's for they eyes, and one red for the nose, or use chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
Bake in the preheated oven for for 8-9 minutes or until edges are light brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container and cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.