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Eggnog cookie recipe just in time for Christmas! I couldn't resist giving you one more cookie recipe to get you through the holidays! Everyone raves about this recipe! It's chocked full of eggs, nutmeg and cinnamon to get that classic eggnog flavor. The cookies are topped with a classic buttercream frosting that makes the perfect finishing touch! Or go big and top them with homemade eggnog frosting for eggnog overload!
The mix of nutmeg and cinnamon bring some of your favorite holiday flavors together in one amazing smelling dessert! Treat some neighbors by adding eggnog sugar cookies, chocolate peanut clusters, and gingerbread reindeer cookies on a gift plate! Teachers, your mail person, and any other lucky friends will thank you for these melt in your mouth Christmas cookies!
These gorgeous fluffy soft cookies look so pretty when piped with the buttercream frosting.
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—Want the recipe right now? Simply scroll straight to the bottom!—
But never fear, a simple icing job tastes just as good! I'll outline both ways for you today!
If you asked my kids, I think most of them would say their favorite cookies during the holidays are soft sugar cookies. If you asked them their favorite drink, eggnog would win hands down. But now, if I'm being honest, I've never cared for it. I think there is something about drinking eggs that seems odd to me.
But oh my goodness, put these cookies in front of my face, and I can't.stop.eating.them.
These delicious eggnog cookies are very similar to a classic fluffy sugar cookie. But they go beyond that. I noticed in a lot of other eggnog cookie recipes that the eggnog flavor is based on adding eggnog to a buttercream icing to get the flavor. And that totally works! BUT I wanted more- I wanted these cookies to be able to stand alone in case you're in a time crunch. Another thing - these are totally made without eggnog. So don't fret if you don't have a bottle in the fridge, or you don't have a full carton of eggs to whip some homemade eggnog up.
My #1 requirement was that these cookies tasted like eggnog in the event that you need to cut corners and simply roll in sugar and bake. Y'all have done that before right? Or flattened them with a glass dipped in sugar before baking. I love icing. I think a sugar cookie is the most decadent wonderful dessert when it has been frosted. But somedays we just don't have time for that. So in this case, these will still taste like eggnog in the event of you running out of time!
Cookies fresh out of the oven should be set up but not browned. They do cook a bit once out of the oven when you transfer them from the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool. The edges should be firm coming out of the oven. You don't want them to brown. They are soft cookies and should be pale.
How to make the perfect Eggnog Cookie Dough:
- You should start out by creaming your margarine with sugar. I use a stand mixer, but a hand mixer or the old fashioned way of using a wooden spoon works too! I prefer margarine in these cookies because it sort of stays mellow in the background. If you want to use real butter, by all means do. Just remember to let it soften before using.
- Eggs are your best friends here. I recipe tested several different methods and adding 4 eggs was the key. It added to not just the flavor, but to the color as well. I like to crack my eggs into a separate bowl just in case a little bit of shell gets in.
- You can see how the wet mixture has a lovely yellowish color to it, thanks to the egg yolks. The nutmeg and cinnamon will add flecks of colors.
- Sift your flour and the baking soda and baking powder in a separate dish. This is to make sure everything is distributed evenly. If they are not spread out in the mixture, the cookies won't rise evenly and someone will get a bitter bite that does not taste good at all.
- This eggnog cookie dough recipe calls for heavy cream, but you can substitute milk or even eggnog.
- Once the dough comes together, you can drop spoonfuls of dough onto your lined baking sheets. I love to use cookie scoops like this one so they all come out to be around the same size.
- This eggnog sugar cookie recipe requires no chilling, but by all means, you can certainly chill it and keep it covered in a fridge for up to 24 hours. Give it a good stir before using if you have chilled it.
- We also use silicone baking mats on our cookie sheets since they are non-stick and evenly distribute heat. I have used silicone baking mats for years, but parchment paper works.
- Once you've scooped your cookie dough balls out, you'll need to push them down a bit with your hand so they are flat on top. You don't need to squish too hard though as the cookie will spread out a bit.
- If the cookie dough sticks to your hand you can grease it with butter or spray it with non-stick spray.
- If you're skipping icing, you could also do this with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar first.
- Another option is to roll ¼ of the mixture at a time in wax paper or parchment paper and shape into a log. Simply slice and bake.
Hints & tips for eggnog cookie icing:
When testing the recipe for eggnog cookies, I tested with 2 different icings. Both were fantastic. One is a traditional buttercream icing, and the second is an eggnog frosting. Of my 4 boys, 2 love the eggnog frosting and 2 swear by the classic buttercream. I think the eggnog icing makes it have even more eggnog flavor. Either one will be terrific- but it's up to you which you prefer. I decided to list the buttercream frosting here, and I'll share the eggnog frosting later this week. It's great on other holiday baked goods, so I felt it could have a post all it's own!
For the buttercream, use real butter. For the cookies, margarine seemed to work the best, but when it comes to buttercream frosting - well it needs butter. You can use unsalted if that is all you have, but be sure to add in the amount of salt needed while you are creaming it. You have several options for frosting the cookies.
#1 Pipe the Buttercream directly on the cookie
This provides an elegant look and gives the impression it came fresh from a bakery. If piping, make sure your icing is stiff. When you spoon it out, is it dripping down? Or holding firm? If it's dripping down, you can make it stiffer by adding more powdered sugar. This is why I add the milk / cream slowly, one tablespoon at a time. It's easier to thin out an icing than it is to make it stiffer.
To pipe the pretty rosettes, I used a slightly opened star tip in an accordion style bottle. I used this because I ran out of piping bags! I need to order more! I prefer bags because when I'm done I can throw them away. To make the rosette, start in the middle and make circles around the icing, finishing at the edge of the cookie.
#2 Frost the cookies in an old-fashioned manner
This is the way my mom frosted sugar cookies. An offset spatula works perfectly for smearing eggnog icing onto the cookies.
Still looking for more ways to ice these cookies? You can also use a plastic sandwich bag and cut the corner slightly to make it like a piping bag and do a zig zag design on a cookie. If you prefer a glaze, you can thin the frosting out with more milk / cream and dip the top of your cookie in it, then place on a cooling rack or parchment paper to catch any drips.
You can also sprinkle the iced cookies with sanding sugar, cinnamon, or powdered sugar. the later can hide a multitude of decorating issues. Plus it reminds me of snow, which is perfect for this time of year!
Don't you just love it when it rains confectioners sugar?
Items needed to make soft eggnog sugar cookies:
These are by far one of our favorite holiday cookies. My house always smells amazing after baking. I prefer to store mine in a plastic lidded container. I love the whiff of spices I get when I first remove the lid. It totally smells like Christmas to me! I use store-bought eggnog because it's one less thing I have to make, but in case you prefer homemade, these are some of the best recipes for eggnog!
How To Make Homemade Eggnog by Cake Whiz
Homemade Eggnog Recipe by House of Nash Eats
Other recipes with eggnog you might enjoy:
White Chocolate Chip Cherry Eggnog Quick Bread
Eggnog Crème Brûlée by Culinary Ginger
Eggnog Pudding with Whipped Cream by Five Heart Home
Still looking for more holiday baking ideas?
Easy Gingerbread Reindeer Cookies are a family favorite with their cute red noses and chocolate piped antlers!
Easy Chocolate Peanut Clusters are another passed down family recipe. My mom has made these for 40+ years!
Flourless chocolate peppermint cookies are perfect for those with food allergies and can't handle traditional cookies made with flour!
Eggnog Cookie Recipe For Christmas
For the eggnog cookie dough:
- 16 ounces margarine 2 sticks
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream half and half or milk can be used. Eggnog too!
- 5 cups flour, all purpose
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
For the eggnog cookie buttercream frosting
- 4 ounces butter, salted softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar (1 pound)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 tablespoon heavy whipping cream ½ and ½ or milk can be substituted
To make the eggnog cookie dough
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, cream sugar into margarine until light and fluffy.
- Next add in salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well. Add in the vanilla and mix again.
- Crack 4 eggs into a separate bowl, and then add one at a time to the margarine mixture with the beater on a very slow speed. Beat until combined and light and fluffy again.
- In a bowl large enough, whisk together the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Use the whisk as a sifter and stir well.
- With the mixer on slow, add in ⅓ of the flour mixture.
- Once just barely combined, add in ½ the cream mixture.
- Next, add ⅓ of the flour mixture. Once barely combined, add in the rest of the cream mixture.
- Finally, add in the very last of the flour. You want it just barely beaten. You want soft cookies so resist the urge to over beat the mixture.
- Using the cookie scoop, place dough balls onto a baking sheet lined with either a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes. If using multiple baking sheets switch at the halfway point for a more even bake.
- Once the middle is just slightly not set, but edges are (and before they begin to brown), remove from oven and place baking sheet on a wire rack for about 2 minutes.
- Next, use a spatula and move the cookies from the baking sheet to the wire rack. Allow to cool completely and frost as you desire.
For the buttercream frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a handheld mixture, begin mixing softened butter with powdered sugar.
- Go at a slow speed to prevent sugar going everywhere.
- Once it begins to come together and create a crumble, add in vanilla.
- Next, add heavy cream a tablespoon at a time. Be sure to keep an eye on it, in case you want a firmer icing to pipe, or a creamier frosting to frost on top.
I hope you are enjoying the holidays this year. I'm so thankful for my readers, and truly enjoy sharing our holiday favorites with you! So I have to ask, are you a fan of eggnog or not? I'm always amazed at how there are others out there that don't care for the drink but love recipes that have an eggnog flavor! Go figure!
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