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These gingerbread cutout cookies are a nostalgic holiday Christmas cookie in honor of that Christmas movie classic, Elf. Buddy the Elf would approve!

Narwhal Gingerbread Cutout Cookies | A Couple Cooks
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Alex and I met in college, and at the time our tastes weren’t the most sophisticated. Read: lots of Austin Powers, Zoolander, and dorm McDonalds. One movie, though, fit our college sensibilities and remains a classic to this day: Elf. The classic Christmas movvie starring Will Farrell as Buddy the Elf came out in 2003 during our college careers. What’s made it evergreen today, we don’t know. Whatever the case, we’ve heard people of all ages reciting the lines: “Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?” “A Christmasgram? I want one!”

Narwhal Gingerbread Cutout Cookies | A Couple Cooks

What’s a narwhal?

In honor of Elf, we’ve created super nostalgic, throw-back-to-2003 Christmas cookies. Yes, narwhal cookies. What’s a narwhal, you ask? When my sister gifted our toddler son Larson a stuffed narwhal over Thanksgiving, my parents asked the same question. And we realized then that most of what we know about narwhals we know from Elf. A narwhal is an arctic whale with a large tusk, which can grow up to 10 feet long. It appears in this classic narwhal scene from Elf where the narwhal bids Buddy goodbye as he travels from the North Pole to New York City to find his dad.

How to make these gingerbread cutout cookies

Here, we’ve recreated the classic narwhal scene using gingerbread cutout cookies and sugar. And what’s more festive than that? We’ve used our soft gingerbread cookie dough as the base. They’re our favorite gingerbread cutout cookies that incorporate a “healthy-ish” take using almond butter, applesauce, whole wheat flour, and lots of spices. To decorate, we’ve dusted the narwhal cookies in powdered sugar, then covered the tusks with edible glitter. Since holidays are all about nostalgia, these narwhal gingerbread cutout cookies are our top pick.

Let us know if you’re dying to get a cookie cutter to make your own narwhal cookies; we’ll share our source. How about you: what cookies and movies are most nostalgic to you this time of year?

Narwhal Gingerbread Cutout Cookies | A Couple Cooks

These narwhal gingerbread cutout cookies are one of the most fun Christmas cookies we’ve made! Here a few more of our favorite Christmas cookies:

Narwhal Gingerbread Cutout Cookies | A Couple Cooks

Did you make this recipe?

If you make these narwhal gingerbread cutout cookies, we’d love to hear how they turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks.

This recipe is…

This narwhal gingerbread cutout cookies recipe is vegetarian.

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10 Healthyish Holiday Cookies | A Couple Cooks

Narwhal Gingerbread Cutout Cookies

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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: About 20 1x
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These gingerbread cutout cookies are a nostalgic holiday Christmas cookie in honor of that Christmas movie classic, Elf. Buddy the Elf would approve!


  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • Edible glitter, for decorating
  • Powdered sugar, for decorating


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk to thoroughly combine the egg, brown sugar, molasses, almond butter, melted butter, and applesauce.
  2. To the wet ingredients, stir in the ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, kosher salt, baking soda, all-purpose flour, and whole wheat flour until well combined. Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and chill at least 1 hour or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  4. Dust a flat surface with flour, then flour the rolling pin and roll out the dough to ¼-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out narwhals, about 20 total. Place the narwhals on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. If using edible glitter, add gently press the glitter onto the narwhal tusks.
  5. Bake the cookies about 8 minutes, until puffed and slightly firmed. Let rest on the pan for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  6. Once cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar using a sifter or sieve, covering the tusks with parchment paper. Store covered at room temperature for several days or freeze for several months.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Lindsay says:

    I’d love to get your source for the narwhal cookie cutter! These look great.

      1. Lindsay says:

        Awesome. Thank you!

  2. Laura says:

    Love these cookies! A *really* cute book to go with the stuffed animal is “Not Quite Narwhal” by Jessie Sima. The illustrations are adorable too.

    1. Sonja says:

      Oooo we will have to check that out! We’re trying to convince Larson that this is his favorite animal. :)

  3. Lori Rice says:

    These are the best cookies I have seen all season! What a cute and creative idea!

    1. Sonja says:

      The highest compliment — THANK YOU!

  4. Kelsey says:

    Loving this! I may need to use this recipe with a squirrel cutter to adapt it to my family’s favorite–National lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Such a fun way to celebrate!

    1. Sonja says:

      Oooo yes! We actually just got a squirrel cutter from IKEA — you may want to check there!