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.

Photograph of eggnog cookies in a silver tray with glasses of eggnog set around.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).

Photograph of eggnog cookies stacked on top of eachother with eggnog in the background.

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.

Photograph of eggnog cookies in a silver tray with glasses of eggnog set around.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.

Photograph of eggnog cookies on a baking sheet getting dusted with powdered sugarHow 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:

  1. Whisk together dry ingredients
  2. Beat sugar, butter and shortening together
  3. Beat in eggs and extracts
  4. Mix in dry ingredients just
  5. Chill dough
  6. Roll dough into small dough balls
  7. Bake 8 minutes until edges are golden brown
  8. Cool
  9. Dust
  10. Enjoy!  

Photograph of eggnog cookies stacked on top of eachother with eggnog in the background.Can these eggnog cookies be made gluten-free?

Absolutely! Just use a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend in place of the regular all-purpose flour and the whole-wheat pastry flour.

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:

  1. Roll dough into balls according to recipe instructions.
  2. Transfer dough balls to a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid.
  3. Transfer frozen dough balls to a resealable freezer bag and store in freezer until ready to bake.
  4. 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.

Photograph of eggnog cookies stacked on top of eachother with eggnog in the background.Looking for more holiday cookies?

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!

To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can click the button on any of the photos, or the red button on the side bar or below the recipe. Happy baking!

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Photograph of eggnog cookies stacked on top of eachother with eggnog in the background.

Eggnog Cookies

  • Author: Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes + 30 minutes chilling
  • Cook Time: 30 minutrd
  • Total Time: 1¼ hours
  • Yield: 3 dozen cookies (36) 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Cookies

Description

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. 


Ingredients

Scale

Cookies:

  • 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

Topping:

  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg

Instructions

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.


Notes

Equipment you’ll need:

  • Stand mixer or hand-held mixer
  • Fine-mesh sieve or flour duster
  • Baking sheets

To make these gluten-free, use a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend for the all-purpose flour and the whole-wheat pastry flour

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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    1. 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!