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RECIPE BOX: Reindeer Cupcakes

To create the reindeer on top of the cupcakes, use chocolate icing, pretzels and M&M's.

To create the reindeer on top of the cupcakes, use chocolate icing, pretzels and M&M's.

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These reindeer cupcakes and a glass of milk could be the perfect treat to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve.

Reindeer cupcakes

Start to finish: 40 minutes

One box of chocolate cake mix

One tub of chocolate icing

Christmas cupcake liners

Pretzels (the large ones)

M&M's (green and red ones only)

Bake the cupcakes according to the directions on the package.

Break the pretzels in halves to make "antlers," allowing plenty of time for the cupcakes to cool completely.

Ice the cupcakes.

Place green M&M's on the cupcakes to make the "eyes" and a red one for each "nose."

Tip: Purchase a cardboard cake/cupcake holder at Hobby Lobby for $1.50.

Today, we honor some of Santa's helpers by making this Christmas treat — reindeer cupcakes. I can't remember where in the world I first saw the recipe for reindeer cupcakes. It may have been online or in a magazine. Either way, the recipe has stayed in my memory long enough for me to be able to reproduce it.

I know we've all been in the kitchen a little more lately, whether for Thanksgiving or for some Christmas cooking, but these cupcakes are a cinch and a blast to make.

I know many of you have children and this a perfect recipe to make and take to your child's Christmas party (as were the Santa hat cookies featured in last week's column).

I used M&M's to make the eyes and red nose for the reindeer cupcakes. But if you don't have M&M's on hand, and you've got other green and red candies around, don't be afraid to use those instead.

Nothing about this recipe is time consuming. As a matter of fact, I baked the cupcakes one evening and then got up the next morning, iced the cupcakes and decorated them.

I shared these with my kids in children's church and a few of the adults, too and they were a huge hit.

I am already appreciating recipes like this more, as I'm expecting a baby and it won't be long before I too will be in the kitchen cooking with my little one.

Remember, cooking just isn't about preparing a dish or a meal; it's also about making memories with your children and family.