Eggnog meets snickerdoodle in this new eggnog cookie recipe from our test kitchen! 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.
For the ultimate treat, serve these with our Vegan Eggnog!
Table of Contents
About The Recipe
On its own, eggnog has a pretty distinct flavor. While it’s not a strong flavor, it’s definitely an easily identifiable flavor. 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-bake in things like glazes, drizzles and soaks (do it for Ms. Tosi).
We ran multiple tests in an attempt to use eggnog in the cookie dough, but adding eggnog to a snickerdoodle cookie drastically throws off the balance between wet and dry ingredients. Increasing the amount of wet ingredients creates flat, cakey cookies. And the flavor of eggnog was nowhere to be found.
After countless tests, we found the addition of rum extract and nutmeg hit the perfect “eggnog” flavor. Don’t try using rum instead of rum extract—the extract is essential for achieving that perfect flavor.
For the nutmeg, you may notice that we call for a very hefty amount of nutmeg. More than we 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 (aka powdered sugar) and nutmeg.
As we mentioned earlier, we found the combo of rum extract and fresh grated nutmeg to be the key to creating a perfectly-textured cookie with eggnog flavor. Look for rum extract in the baking aisle of your grocery store or buy it on Amazon.
Egg and Egg Yolk
Egg and an egg yolk are both used in these cookies. Yolks are higher in fat and protein and lower in moisture than egg whites. So removing the egg white means the cookies will stay moist and not crispy.
We prefer to grate nutmeg fresh in the test kitchen. Purchase whole nutmegs and grate with a microplane. If you have ground nutmeg, you can use that too. Just make sure it’s pretty fresh! Feel free to add a dash of additional winter spice like cinnamon or cloves.
Add a Glaze
Make an eggnog glaze for the cookies instead of dusting them with confectioners’ sugar and nutmeg. Use this icing recipe and substitute the milk with eggnog. Add some additional nutmeg for an added boost of flavor.
More Christmas Cookies to Try
- Crisp Chocolate Peppermint Cookies are addictive and delicious.
- Chewy Hermit Cookies are a classic. Think spice cookies with MUCH more going on.
- Love chewy spice cookies? Our Chewy Cardamom Cookies are a must-make.
- Hazelnut & Cardamom Shortbread Cookies with Dark Chocolate are a favorite around here!
- ‘Tis the season for perfect Gingerbread Cookies!
Absolutely! Just use a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend in place of the regular all-purpose flour and the whole-wheat pastry flour.
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.
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.
Shop the Recipe
- 2½ cups (313g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter (12 tablespoons), softened
- ½ cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (50g) shortening
- 1 large egg + 1 large yolk
- 2 teaspoon rum extract
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- ½ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
- 2¼ cups (260g) confectioners' sugar
- 6 tablespoons (100g) eggnog
- ¼ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
- pinch kosher salt
- Whisk together 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 45 minutes or up to 1 day.
- Heat oven to 400°F (204ºC)with rack set in middle position; line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a #24 cookie scoop, scoop dough then set on prepared sheets, 6 dough balls per sheet.
- Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, until edges are lightly browned and centers are puffed but still look slightly raw, 10–12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking.
- Let cookies cool on sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat scooping and baking with remaining dough.
- If you prefer to finish cookies with sugar dusting: Whisk together confectioners’ sugar and ½ teaspoon nutmeg; transfer to a fine-mesh sieve and dust cookies with sugar mixture.
- If you prefer to finish cookies with glaze: whisk together confectioners sugar, eggnog, nutmeg and salt. Drizzle over cookies and allow to dry 30 minutes before storing.
- These cookies are best eaten within first 3 days of baking but last up to 1 week.
This recipe article was originally published December 15, 2018.
Could I use rum or bourbon in place of the rum extract or do you have another suggested substitute?
Hi Diana! I tested this cookie with a variety of extracts and also tried bourbon and rum (because I too would prefer to use that.) I found in order to get the flavor to come through I’d have to add quite a bit of bourbon or rum, causing the cookie dough to be too thin and the texture of the cookies completely off. And if I added more flour, the flavor just got lost again. Rum extract really is the best thing I’ve found. It’s pretty common nowadays at most grocery stores. If you do end up buying rum extract, you could also use it in blondies or oatmeal cookies.
I hope that helps!
Hi Lauren, just a side note that there is no whole wheat flour listed in the ingredient list but it is mentioned in the instructions. Just a little confused about that. We love eggnog at our house so these cookies are on the must try list!! Thanks!!
Thanks for letting me know Lola, I will get that fixed ASAP.