December 10, 2009

Eggnog Cookies with Browned Butter Icing

My Day So Far: Playdate with daughter, totally random errands (buying toothpaste and balloons?!), mother/daughter grilled cheese lunch.

Naptime Goals: Bake Eggnog Cookies for Ashley’s housewarming, finish online Christmas shopping, Ironing (least favorite chore).
Tonight’s Meal: Leftover Eggplant and Prosciutto Lasagna.

Parenting Lesson of the Day: Do pick up balloons for your friend’s party; don’t take your two year-old with you unless you expect to buy her balloons, too.

*Note: I am thrilled to submit this cookie recipe to the 12 Days of Sharing event taking place at In Jennie’s Kitchen. Jennifer Perillo and her co-hosts are doing a fantastic job using this event to help end hunger, a cause that is especially relevant during the holiday season. I hope you’ll use the donation button to the right of this post to make a donation to Share our Strength this holiday season.

We are all crazed during the holiday season, myself included. As you can see from the list above, my goals these days are ambitious, but no less so than anyone else I know. Everyone seems to be running to and fro, purchasing gifts, rushing to performances and prepping for holiday parties. I find that day to day parenting is a lot of work and adding a major holiday season on top of these duties is enough to send anyone over the edge. To keep myself from crossing to the other side I do my best to plan my days carefully to keep them manageable and reasonable, and to enjoy myself while I get things done. To kick off the celebrations this weekend we are going to our friend’s Ashley and Kevin’s housewarming party at their new home in Westchester, and I am bringing eggnog cookies.

I love baking just as much as I love cooking (as if you couldn’t tell that already!). Over the past year, while the my daughter has graduated from crawling to walking to running full stop, I’ve figured out that if I want a hassle-free baking experience the best time to do it is while she naps, or is out on a weekend activity with her father. Additionally, since I have other things to do while I have free time, like laundry, present wrapping, etc, it is best for me to have dinner already planned so as not to overload myself with too much to do in one two-hour stretch. On this occasion I had my Eggplant and Prosciutto Lasagna in the fridge from the previous night, so all I needed to concentrate on was my eggnog cookies and other chores.

This recipe was given to me by my friend Susan who ripped it off of the back of an eggnog carton a few Christmases ago. Over time I’ve adapted it, adding spices and a little boozy flavor, and changed the topping from an eggnog to a browned butter icing. I prefer the browned butter icing since it has a sweet nutty flavor that works well with the eggnog in the cookies and adds a complexity to the dough rather than icing in the original recipe. Unlike a lot of Christmas cookies these have more shortbread taste, dense and buttery with a hint of spice, they are cakey and less sweet then many more conventional holiday treats.

Since these are so easy to make squeezing cooking baking in along with the rest of my naptime to-do list was not a problem. While they baked I was able to catch up on laundry, and then I iced them after I’d finished my online Christmas shopping. I know Ashley is going to love these when I take them to her house this weekend, and thank goodness I doubled the recipe, because my family loves these, too.


Eggnog Cookies with Browned Butter Icing


1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. non-alcoholic eggnog (not low-fat!)
1 t. rum extract
3 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
½ t. Kosher salt
½ t. nutmeg
1 t. cinnamon

For Icing:

adapted from Martha Stewart Cookies

5 T. unsalted butter
2 c. powered sugar
1/8 c. evaporated milk
1 t. good quality vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line cookie sheets with Silpat or parchment paper.

2. In an electric mixer cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and eggnog, mix until smooth. Then add the rum extract. Mix to incorporate.

3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and cinnamon. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

4. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls on the cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the cookie begin to turn golden brown. Allow cookies to cool.

5. To make Icing: Sift confectioners’ sugar in a bowl. In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter and allow to cook until it turns a golden brown and has a nutty flavor. About 3 minutes. Swirl butter occasionally during cooking. Remove from heat and immediately add to confectioners sugar, bringing in any browned buts from the pan. Add evaporated milk and vanilla, stir until smooth. Allow to cool and ice the cookies.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

For eggnog lovers this is the ultimate cookie. Cakey, buttery and not to sweet, these cookies are the perfect treat for the holidays or to add to any cookie plate. If you don’t have time to bake these immediately, simply wrap the dough and put in the fridge. It will stay just fine. Also, if you need to wait to ice the cookies, place them in an airtight container and they can be iced up to 12 hours after being baked without loosing any flavor.

Naptime Stopwatch

Making this dough takes about 15 minutes, and the icing another 5 minutes.

Naptime Reviews

Even my daughter liked their slightly boozy flavor!