In preparation for this year’s holiday cookie tray, I purchased a Christmas cookie-themed magazine and found a (new to me) recipe for eggnog snickerdoodles. A quick web search will bring up similar recipes with lightly baked and minimally dusted cookies. I wanted to punch-up the aromatics and create a flavorful cookie.
Combining eggnog with cookies brought up images of deeply browned butter, warm spiced rum, creamy vanilla and overall goodness.
I started to consider the science behind this cookie and wondered if approaching it from a browned-butter-sugar-cookie perspective might offer more complexity. Swapping out half of the butter for browned butter and the addition of good quality dark brown sugar were key in highlighting the caramel flavor.
I included a few finishing options under the recipe below, and highly recommend turning these into ice cream sandwiches. (Joe says that I am still in gobbler-mode... it is a good-looking sandwich.)
yield: 40 cookies
2 ½ cups AP flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 lg. eggs
1 ½ tsp. rum extract
1 vanilla bean
(coating before baking)
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. nutmeg, finely grated
(sprinkle after cooled)
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. nutmeg, finely grated
First brown half of the butter (8 tbsp.) and set aside to cool for 20 minutes.
Prepare the “coating,” mix ½ cup granulated sugar with 1 tsp. of finely grated nutmeg. Set aside.
Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 400˚ (or 375˚ convection which provided a chewier cookie). Arrange racks in the upper-middle and lower-middle sections of the oven.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, tartar, soda and salt. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream the softened butter and brown butter together until smooth. Add both sugars and mix on medium-high until fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
Add the eggs, rum and scrapings from one vanilla bean. Mix until just combined.
Lower the mixer speed, and add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined (I finished this part by hand with a spatula).
Generously roll tablespoon-sized dough balls into the sugar/nutmeg coating. Place on sheet pan two inches apart.
Bake for 8 minutes, switching and rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the edges are light golden brown. Cool for five minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Dust cookies with a generous mixture of powdered sugar and nutmeg. In most cases, using less nutmeg is best, but here, the nutmeg shines, so feel free to use a heavy hand.
You can also create a powdered sugar glaze (mixing sugar with water) and drizzle the cookies, then top with grated nutmeg.
These cookies can also be sandwiched with your choice of ice cream (french vanilla, butter-pecan, eggnog), and rolled in toasted hazelnuts. Top with powdered sugar and nutmeg.
Borrowed and adapted from Cook’s Country.