Cookie Calendar: Eggnog Thumbprints

Here is a cookie recipe posted in tribute to my dear eggnog-lover, Scott. Though I'm still trying to get used to the stuff, Scott loves that traditional holiday beverage that, as it happens, we watched Alton Brown make via our TiVo this evening.

These cookies obviously lack that thick, coating mouth feel of eggnog the beverage, and their booziness is slightly reduced as well. Still, the spices and other flavors come through, especially that signature nutmeg.

If I remember correctly, I made these as sandwich cookies rather than thumbprints, possibly because that would have made them easier to store in the freezer. As I bake for weeks before Christmas, I always freeze most of each batch to keep them fresh for the big day. Still, I think the flavor of the icing would come through a lot better if you followed the recipe's recommendation simply to fill the cookie cavity.

Cookie Tip #6: To freeze cookies with decorated or frosted tops, first spread them in one layer on a frosty cookie sheet and place the sheet in your freezer. The aluminum of the tray should suck the warmth from the cookies more efficiently, plus this method lets the soft topping turn solid before you stack the treats in freezer bags or plastic containers.

Eggnog Thumbprints
Source: Better Homes and Gardens
Yield: 40 cookies

  • ⅔ cup butter, softened

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1-½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 slightly beaten egg whites

  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts

  • ¼ cup butter

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon rum or 1/4 teaspoon rum extract

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons milk

  • Ground nutmeg

1. Beat the 2/3 cup butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar and the 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg; beat until combined. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Beat in as much flour as you can. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. If necessary, cover and chill dough about 1 hour or until easy to handle.

2. Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in egg whites, then in chopped walnuts. Place 1 inch apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. Press centers with your thumb. Bake in a 375 degrees F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.

3. For filling, beat the 1/4 cup butter until softened. Add powdered sugar and beat until fluffy. Beat in rum or rum extract and enough milk to make of spreading consistency. Spoon or pipe about 1/2 teaspoon filling into center of each cookie. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Make-Ahead Tip: Bake and cool cookies but do not fill. In an airtight or freezer container arrange cookies in a single layer; cover with a sheet of waxed paper. Repeat layers, leaving enough air space to close container easily. Freeze up to 1 month. To serve, thaw cookies. Prepare filling and spoon or pipe into center of each cookie. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Nutritional notes:
calories: 96, total fat: 6g, saturated fat: 3g, cholesterol: 22mg, sodium: 46mg, carbohydrate: 9g, fiber: 0g, protein: 1g, vitamin A: 5%, vitamin C: 0%, calcium: 0%, iron: 2%

Download Eggnog Thumbprints into MacGourmet.

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