Eggnog is one of my favorite holiday drinks. I always make up a few different batches during the holiday season, and I also use it in baked goods, like Eggnog Pound Cake and Eggnog Red Velvet Cupcakes! These Eggnog Sugar Cookies are one more recipe that fans of eggnog are sure to enjoy – but these cookies don’t actually use any eggnog in the recipe. I chose to go this route with the cookies to keep that perfect sugar cookie texture. When you add a lot of liquid, like eggnog, to a cookie dough, it changes the texture of the cookie. This isn’t a bad thing – as evidenced by my wonderful Soft Eggnog Cutout Cookies – it just creates a different type of cookie. Instead of using eggnog, they use the flavors that are found in most eggnog recipes: vanilla, nutmeg and rum. The result is a cookie that evokes the flavor of eggnog, but has just the right crisp-chewy consistency that I love in a sugar cookie.
The cookie dough has vanilla, nutmeg and rum in it, and the cookies are rolled in a mixture of vanilla sugar and nutmeg before baking. This sugary coating adds a little extra sweetness to the cookies, but it also boosts both the vanilla and the nutmeg flavors in the finished product. The cookies are buttery and tender, with a crisp, sugary edge that contrasts well with their slightly chewy center. The flavor is definitely reminiscent of eggnog, and you can clearly taste the vanilla and nutmeg in each bite. This also really lets them stand out from your average sugar cookie.
Although I don’t always serve my rum spiked, I added a splash of dark rum to the cookie dough in this case, just to add one more layer of eggnog flavoring. It is only a trace amount of rum, but dark rum (something like Meyer’s or Cruzan is a good choice here) has a strong molasses flavor and a hint of it will carry through into the finished cookies. If you prefer not to use rum at all, you can substitute a smaller splash of rum extract to get a similar flavor without the spirits. The cookies will keep well in an airtight container for a couple of days after baking, but they are really at their absolute best within a day or two, so don’t hesitate to enjoy them!
Eggnog Sugar Cookies
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp dark rum (or 1/4 tsp rum extract)
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, divided
1/3 cup vanilla sugar (or regular sugar if vanilla is not available)
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla extract, rum and 1/4 tsp nutmeg until all ingredients are well combined. With the mixer on low speed, gradually blend in the flour mixture until the dough comes together and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg and vanilla sugar. Shape cookie dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the sugar mixture, then transfer to prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2-inches between cookies to allow for the dough to spread.
Bake for 9-11 minutes, until cookies are just barely starting to turn brown on the edges and are just set in the center. Allow cookies to cool for 3-4 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen.