This is usually the time of year when I make my cookie tins – five new types of cookies and two full days of baking. However, right now I am on my 10th straight day spending countless hours in the library and subsisting largely on free candy and caffeine. In other words, I haven’t yet had time to dedicate to my usual Christmas festivities.
But, I did manage a break one day this past week to bake some cookies (just two types), make Christmas drinks and watch Love Actually with some friends. It’s good to know that even in the middle of final exam preparation, law students can find time for fun.
After much deliberation, I decided on eggnog cookies. Mostly because they involved eggnog. And I wanted an excuse to buy a carton. Or two. But also partly because they are cutout cookies with a candy filling, which I’d never made before. Quick preview:Aren’t they cool? And way more complicated-looking than they are to make. Always a perk when you are looking to impress a crowd.
First, Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt.Next, cut in the butter. I keep forgetting to get my pastry cutter from home, so I was stuck using a combination of the knife and fork method. I don’t recommend it. In a measuring cup, lightly beat the egg with a fork and add the eggnog.Pour into a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until well moistened and coming together. Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and wrap into a ball. Refrigerate for about 2 hours or longer.When chilled, roll out on a floured surface using a floured rolling pin. Roll to 1/4 inch thickness.Using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut out shapes and place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Then, using a smaller cookie cutter, cut a shape out of the middle.
I used stars because I for some reason have a set of nesting star cookie cutters, and therefore multiple sizes. Sprinkle crushed butterscotch candies into the middle of each cookie.
Bake at 375°F for 6 to 8 minutes or until edges begin to turn golden.Remove from oven and leave on pan for 5 minutes, before transferring aluminum foil to wire rack to cool completely. Peel cookies off aluminum foil.
Insides will have hardened back into candy consistency. It’s a pretty cool trick, and would work with really any hard candy you like.
Another idea I thought might be fun would be using jolly ranchers and making stained glass windows. Or ornaments on a tree. The oven does all of the hard work, so not much modification would be needed, except maybe using a regular sugar cookie base instead. Regardless, they’re impressive and not any more difficult than the shaped cookies you make this time of year anyways.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup butter
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup eggnog
- 25 butterscotch hard candies, finely crushed
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt.
- Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until pea sized pieces.
- In a measuring cup, combine the egg and eggnog. Pour mixture into a well in the middle of the dry ingredients.
- Stir with a wooden spoon until just moistened. Turn out onto plastic wrap, shape into a ball, wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Roll dough out on a floured surface until 1/4 inch thick. Cut cookies using a cookie cutter and place on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.
- Cut a smaller shape out of the middle of each cookie. Fill the space with crushed butterscotch candies.
- Bake at 375°F for 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are golden.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on pan for about 5 minutes. Transfer aluminum foil to a wire rack to cool completely. Peel cookies off aluminum foil.