My bestie in Maine has the most beautiful daughter. Her name is Charlotte and every time I Skype with said bestie, Charlotte is there too, lovingly chiming in to say ‘hello’ to Auntie Ali in Amsterdam. The last time we had a chat, I learned all about The Elf on the Shelf. As I don’t live in the States, I was completely ignorant as to who The Elf on the Shelf was, which is a little embarrassing as apparently he’s somewhat of a legend with the kids these days! The elf is a little guy who hangs about your house, reporting back to Santa on the days leading up to Christmas. If you’re nice, you get presents. If you’re naughty, well, don’t let the elf catch you!! This legend is told via an accompanying storybook, and the elf himself is always on the move. He sits in the medicine cabinet, under your bed, and at the dinner table. He’s everywhere, just waiting and watching, so you better be nice!
Now, I want you to know that I’m a good person. I love rainbows and puppies and sunshine. I hold the door for people, I have great manners, I try to always be a little ray of sunshine, blah blah blah. But that’s not to say I don’t love a good bribe every now and then. Because we’re not all perfect. Sometimes we accidentally swear when a hot pan slips out of the oven. Or we’re sneaky and go clothes shopping on our lunch break. Well unfortunately, this time of year the elf is watching, so if you still want some good Christmas presents, you’ll need a good bribe. Enter, elf cookies!
The Dutch love kruidnoten. Kruidnoten are small, kibble-like cookie bites that are traditionally associated with Sinterklaas in the Netherlands.They’re dangerous, because they’re sold in a BIG bag from the super market, and you end up eating them like chips, absentmindedly, one after another. During my phone conversation with the bestie and Charlotte last week, I was admittedly munching away. Tis the season! Mid-kruidnoten-nibble, I had a great gift idea – I would surprise Charlotte with a big bag of Dutch kruidnoten for Christmas. Then, we could make mini Elf on the Shelf cookies together as a fun project :)Because it’s really not fair that Santa is the only one who gets cookies on Christmas eve, and the elf hangs around your house longer, anyways. And he’s going to get hungry, and he’s going to need some
I assumed Elf cookies would be easy, but I wanted to trial my idea before attempting it with a toddler. Elf cookies really are kid-proof, and there’s NO baking required! To get started, all you need are some mini cookies. I used Dutch kruidnoten, but if you’re else where in the world, you could always use Cookie Crisp cereal instead. All you need is a collection of yummy-crunchy-mini cookies to start. I then used Martha’s recipe to whip up some quick royal icing. The ingredients for this are also very sparse and simple – powdered sugar, egg whites, and lemon. Once you’ve whipped your icing into a light fluff, transfer it into a plastic baggie. Then, pipe a dollop of royal icing on top of each mini cookie.The result of this effort will be adorable, frosted gingerbread minis – little elf cookies!Now, you could serve your elf the cookies like this, but everyone knows that a truly good bribe comes with sprinkles. I went for ‘disco’ sprinkles, because really, I couldn’t resist a product in the super market labeled ‘disco’! If you can’t find badass discos in your area, you could go with sprinkles of any kind – red and green, gold, silver – the idea is to make them resemble human-sized gingerbread cookies as much as possible. Yum!
Give your cookies a good dusting of color.Now, it’s time to share them with your elf. If you skip this last step, you’re going to end up eating a whole batch in under 2 minutes! Remember, he’s watching ;)