If a snickerdoodle, sugar cookie, and a vanilla wafer walked into a bar that only served eggnog, this is the cookie you’d get. With crisp, golden edges and a slightly chewy interior, these Eggnog Cookies are the perfect holiday treat. They're small and simple in stature, but with subtle flavors of eggnog in every bite, these cookies are anything but expected.
An eggnog cookie with no eggnog in it?
You may notice that this recipe doesn’t call for eggnog itself. And I apologize if that’s a let down. But let’s suss it out.
So, on its own, eggnog has a pretty distinct flavor. I wouldn’t say it's a strong flavor, but it’s definitely a flavor you can identify with your eyes closed. Add eggnog to any baked good—cakes, breads, cookies—and the flavor nearly disappears. For a prevalent eggnog flavor you have to use it post baking in things like glazes, drizzles and soaks (eggnog tres leches anyone? Hmmmm).
To ease your mind, you should know that I did, in fact, test these cookies with eggnog. I gave it a valiant effort. The problem? Simply adding eggnog to a snickerdoodle cookie drastically threw off the balance between wet and dry ingredients. Increasing the amount of wet ingredients created flat, cakey cookies. Plus, the flavor of eggnog was nowhere to be found.
Add more eggnog? Absolutely out of the question.
Add the flavors that make eggnog so unique? Absolutely.
In an effort to create a cookie that embodied the classic holiday drink while maintaining a favorable texture I opted for rum extract and nutmeg to be the major flavor players—both of which are essential to this recipe.
Think you can simply use rum instead of rum extract? Think again. When I tested these cookies with 2 tablespoons of rum the flavor was nowhere to be found. Stick to the concentrated stuff.
For the nutmeg, you may notice that I call for a very hefty amount of nutmeg. More than I’m almost comfortable with. But nutmeg is a quintessential part of eggnog and in this cookie it needs to take center stage.
To gild the lily, these cookies get one last punch of spice from a dusting of confectioners’ sugar and nutmeg.
How do you make eggnog cookies?
Eggnog cookies are incredibly easy to whip up. Nearly identical to the process of making snickerdoodles, these cookies can be ready in no time. Here’s the process:
- Whisk together dry ingredients
- Beat sugar, butter and shortening together
- Beat in eggs and extracts
- Mix in dry ingredients just
- Chill dough
- Roll dough into small dough balls
- Bake 8 minutes until edges are golden brown
Can these eggnog cookies be made gluten-free?
Can you freeze eggnog cookies?
Yes! You can freeze baked eggnog cookies for up to one month and you can also freeze eggnog cookie dough for up to one month.
Can I make the cookie dough ahead of time?
3 days ahead—refrigerator
Dough can be made and chilled in the refrigerator up to 3 days ahead. You can chill the whole batch of dough then scoop when ready to bake, or you can scoop dough into balls and chill dough balls (easiest method—your future self will thank you). Bake as directed.
1 month ahead—freezer
Divide dough into dough balls and freeze for up to 1 month. Here's how to freeze:
- Roll dough into balls according to recipe instructions.
- Transfer dough balls to a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid.
- Transfer frozen dough balls to a resealable freezer bag and store in freezer until ready to bake.
- Transfer frozen balls to prepared baking sheet (don’t thaw) spaced 2 inches apart and bake at 375°until edges are golden brown, 10–12 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through.
Looking for more holiday cookies?
- Crisp Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- Homemade Autumn Oreos
- Healthy Trail Mix Cookies
- Chewy Black Tahini Cookies (a ZK fav!)
- Mexican Chocolate, Raspberry & Millet Cookies
- Hazelnut & Cardamom Shortbread Cookies with Dark Chocolate (another fav!)
Plus, check out my Milk 'n Cookies menu, featuring these festive cookies!
Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or comment below if you make these eggnog cookies!
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A cross between a snickerdoodle, sugar cookie, and a vanilla wafer, these eggnog cookies have crisp exteriors, chewy interiors and are enhanced with the beloved flavors of eggnog—nutmeg and rum.
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour (7 ⅜ ounces)
- ¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour (2¾ ounces)
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter (12 tablespoons), softened
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar (3½ ounces)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (3⅝ ounces)
- ¼ cup shortening
- 1 large egg + 1 large yolk
- 2 teaspoon rum extract
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- ½ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
Whisk together flour, whole-wheat flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, and salt.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and shortening together on medium speed until light and fluffy and pale in color, 5 minutes.
Scrape down sides of bowl, add egg, yolk, rum extract, and vanilla and beat until incorporated; scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
With mixer on low speed, add flour in 4 additions and mix just until combined; chill dough at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
Heat oven to 400° with racks set in upper-middle and lower-middle position; line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Working with 1 tablespoon of dough at a time (20 grams), roll into balls and arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
Bake cookies until edges are lightly browned, 8–10 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat rolling and baking with remaining dough.
Whisk together confectioners’ sugar and ½ teaspoon nutmeg; transfer to a fine-mesh sieve and dust cookies with sugar mixture.
These cookies are best eaten within first 3 days of baking but last up to 1 week.