Let's not discuss the smells that will waft throughout your home as you bake these tender little eggnog spice cookies. The scent of sugar, spicy cloves, robust cinnamon, hearty nutmeg (I've never used the word "hearty" to describe nutmeg, but I like it) and smooth vanilla float through the air. I have never smelled a cookie that smells more like "Christmas" than this one.
Sprinkled right before it goes in the oven with sugar, these cookies are incredibly soft and tender, as they puff up just enough as they bake, giving them a wonderfully pillowy texture with the delightful subtle crunch of the sugar that encrusts it.
Then, to make it even better, these cookies are filled with a spiced, eggnog cream filling, with just a hint of brandy that would put an Oreo to shame.
The best part about these cookies are that they are even better the next day. If you can wait, try to save them until tomorrow. Then jump out of bed and have three for breakfast.
It's ok! Calories don't count on Christmas!
Eggnog Sugar and Spice Cookies
(makes about 2 dozen sandwich cookies)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup eggnog
1 egg white, slightly beaten
Eggnog Cream Filling
3 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
2 tablespoons eggnog
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon brandy
Sift flour with salt, cream of tartar, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter with sugar until light; beat in egg, eggnog, and vanilla until well incorporated. Lower mixer speed to low and add flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.
Chill dough for 2 to 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper. Roll dough out on a floured surface to about 1/4-inch thick. Cut with floured 2 to 2 1/2-inch cookie cutters and place on greased baking sheets. Sprinkle with sugar just before placing in oven. Bake at 375° for about 12 minutes, or until done. Cool on a baking rack.
To make the filling:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted witha paddle attachment, beat the shortening and butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually. Add the salt, vanilla, eggnog and brandy and beat until incorporated.
Using a tablespoon, shape filling into balls. Place into the flat center of one cookie. Find another cookie similar in shape and use to sandwich the filling so that hte filling spreads evenly to the edges of the cookie.