Peanut Butter Mouse Cookies

Peanut Butter Mouse Cookies
These mouse cookies are fun to make and even more fun to eat. Kids love putting on the candy touches that turn the ball of cookie dough into a mouse. We used to make these only at Christmastime, but lately we have begun making them 'just because'. The colors of the decorations can be changed to suit any holiday. These cookies are great for bake sales, potlucks, class parties, or just for something crafty to do on a lazy afternoon.

Ingredients for peanut butter mouse cookies:

1 cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup softened butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup peanut halves
Decorations: M&M's, miniature chocolate chips, and shoestring licorice cut into two inch pieces. These can be any color you like, to suit the occasion.

How to do it:

Beat the butter and peanut butter together until soft and creamy. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and baking soda and beat well. Add the flour and mix until blended.

At this point, you will probably want to chill the dough to make it easier for the kids to handle. Stick it in the refrigerator for an hour or two. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees before you begin decorating.

I like to set out the decorations in separate bowls on the counter or table to make it easier for the kids. Use a cookie scoop to form the dough into 1-inch balls. To make a mouse shape, flatten the balls out a bit on the bottom and slightly taper one of the ends to form a nose. Don't worry about getting the shapes perfect; once the decorations are in place they will be adorable. Push two peanut halves into the top of the mouse's head to form ears. An M&M will form the nose, and chocolate chips pushed pointy side in will be the eyes. Use a toothpick to make a hole in the opposite end of the mouse; this is where the licorice tail will go later.

Bake the cookies for 8- 10 minutes or until firm and lightly browned. Cool them on the pan for two minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and push the licorice tails in place. Enjoy!

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